31 May 2013

Minister Law given ABS green light

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has today announced that Minister Law Solicitors has been granted an Alternative Business Structure (ABS) licence.

By James Barnes

Adrian Christmas, chairman of Minster Law and Samantha Barrass, executive director of the SRA

The York and Wakefield based company, which has 800 employees, is a top-35 law firm and one of the leading UK personal injury specialists with an annual fee income of £107m.

Thorough review

In a statement, Minister Law said that the ABS application - made in January 2012 - will allow the sale of the company to the BGL Group, one of the UK’s leading insurance intermediaries, sealing the largest outright sale of a law firm to date.
Adrian Christmas, chairman of Minster Law, commented: ‘As one of the most complex ABS applications that the SRA has had to manage, it has been, appropriately, the subject of a thorough review. Having worked closely with the SRA, we have been impressed by the rigorous and professional approach it has taken in handling this important process.
‘BGL Group and Minster Law have worked closely together for a number of years. The acquisition of Minster Law will enable our partnership to develop further and allow us to strengthen the market leading service we provide to our customers.’

Complex structures

SRA executive director Samantha Barrass added: ‘Minster Law showed early interest in applying to become an ABS and it has been necessary for the process to involve a very detailed consideration of Minster Law's application as it has a complex ownership structure. This level of engagement has helped us hone our processes so that we are better able to advise applicants with similarly complex structures.’

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