November 1, 2013
This month saw specialist media law firm, Wiggin, receive its Alternative Business Structure (ABS) license from the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority (SRA), making it the 200th to be licensed. An ABS is a firm where a non-lawyer is a manager or has an ownership-type interest in the firm.
Amendments to the Legal Services Act created the opportunity for non-lawyers to own legal businesses, the benefits of which include the option to raise equity from outside of the legal sector and the ability to offer a wider range of services to clients than you can through an ordinary law firm.
Wiggin CEO, John Banister, comments: “My status as a non-lawyer partner required that the firm transition to an ABS, but as a model it works for us in terms of what we are trying to achieve as a business. Essentially, our objective is to expand on our position as a pure media law firm, to being a business that is able to offer a broader range of media services and products that drive additional legal work for the firm and that can deliver real value to clients. Law will remain a central part of what we do but we’ve recognised that there is the opportunity to use our expertise and knowledge of the media sector to diversify.
“Crucially, being an ABS also allows us more flexibility in how we decide to grow these businesses, particularly around finding external investment. It’s an exciting time for the firm, so watch this space.”