ABS is a type of legal firm in which lawyers and non-lawyers share the management and control of a business. Begun in 2007, ABS allows external investment and ownership of law firms, meaning that multi-disciplinary businesses can be set up between accountants and lawyers.
After a recent public consultation, ICAEW is applying to the Legal Services Board to become a regulator of ABS, as well as the reserved legal service of probate.
Vernon Soare, ICAEW executive director of professional standards, said: ‘As the first professional accountancy body to apply to license Alternative Business Structures, we recognise the importance of widening consumer choice in the legal services market and of protecting the consumer through effective regulation.’
A decision on the application is expected within 12 months. ABS is a just one of the areas in which an accountant can choose to work. Find out about areas of work in accountancy.