Preparing your firm for Alternative Business Structures

Venue: TBC/ London

Location: London, United Kingdom

Event Date/Time: Apr 20, 2010
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One of the most important stages will be when Part 5 of the Act is introduced. That will open the way for Alternative Business Structures, a broad term which anticipates not only permitting the delivery of legal services alongside any other services and goods in a multi-disciplinary practice; but also the ownership of legal services businesses by those who are not themselves lawyers. These changes are likely to mean a radical overhaul of the legal services market, and an increased degree of sophistication and pressure in competitive terms.

Even those firms which have no particular intention of changing their own position need to be very clear about the possibilities which the Act is opening up, as it will affect the businesses with which they will be competing. In order to keep up with those pressures, the management skills required of the leaders of law firms will have to improve in both their intensity and diversity. There is only about eighteen months left before these changes hit the marketplace. Firms which wish by then to be in their optimum position have no time to spare.
Benefits of attending:

This masterclass is designed to:

• Offer a comprehensive view of the scope of the Legal Services Act 2007 in relation to the regulatory framework within which Alternative Business Structures may operate
• Identify consequently possible models for the ownership, management and structure of businesses delivering legal services
• Examine the risks and challenges associated with some of the most likely models
• Review the potential impact of these changes upon the legal and professional services markets
• Question what the future legal services profession(s) may look like

Who should attend:

Those who have the task of leading or advising law firms which are moving into the ABS era, which means from mid-2011 onwards. This includes both those who currently think that they will wish to move into ABSs themselves; and those who have no wish to make such a transition, but need to be aware of how the changes may affect the capability of rival organisations to compete with them for the legal services market. This will include those concerned not only with overall practice management, but also with
• strategic marketing and planning
• risk and regulatory compliance
• quality and professional standards management

Masterclass leader:

A solicitor since 1977, and former Managing Partner, Simon took the MBA in Legal Practice Management at Nottingham Law School. He was on the Executive of the Law Management Section of the Law Society from 1999 to 2009, and represented that Section on the Law Society Council from 2001 to 2009. He currently chairs the Rules & Ethics Committee on the representative side of the Society.

He assists law firms with mergers, conversion to LLP status, management and structural matters, and, increasingly, with regulatory and compliance issues. He has a particular interest in the Legal Services Act, and the business possibilities for law firms in the legislation relating to Legal Disciplinary Practices and Alternative Business Structures.

Simon’s solo publications include Limited Liability Partnerships Handbook (2nd edition, 2007, Tottell Publishing); the Law Society’s New Partners’ Guide to Management; and the volumes constituting the ‘Partnership’ title of the Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents. Joint publications include the Money Laundering Reporting Officer’s Handbook (LexisNexis); and the Law Society’s Office Procedures Manual.