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SRA to accept alternative business structure licensing applications from next month

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has announced that it will start accepting licensing applications for alternative business structures from 3 January 2012.

The regulator said that, “depending on the complexity of the first applications received”, it expected to reveal the first successful applicants in the second half of February next year.

The SRA made the announcement after an order designating it as a licensing authority for ABS was laid before Parliament today. The order will come into force on 23 December.

The regulator’s chief executive, Antony Townsend, said: "We welcome the news that we will become an ABS licensing authority from 23 December. This is a milestone that we have been working towards for nearly two years. It means the public can have confidence that ABS providing reserved legal activities will be regulated according to the same rigorous professional standards as traditional law firms.”