Case Studies | Alternative Business Structures (ABS)

Our first firm to gain ABS status

“Becoming a CILEx Regulated ABS feels like a natural next step for our organisation and has given us the ability to extend our services." Find out how TI Law, our first ABS authorised firm will benefit.

The alternative route to success - ABS status provides the flexibility to grow your business

TI Law

TI Law Ltd, a subsidiary of the Trust Inheritance Group, is our first firm to have been authorised by CILEx Regulation as an Alternative Business Structure (ABS)* for the provision of probate services. ABS status allows firms to have non-lawyers in its ownership and management structure, allowing them to bring in key people with valuable experience and skills. Enabling non-lawyers to own law firms has many benefits including the opportunity to increase innovation in legal services, offer greater choice to consumers and strengthen competition in the market.

The Trust Inheritance Group, long established in the field of wills and bereavement work, is proudly fully employee owned. Being owned by both authorised and non-authorised personnel meant they were unable to apply for authorisation as a conventional entity. Providing excellent customer care has always been a key priority for the firm and gaining ABS status now means they can now provide clients with a complete service that includes probate, to complement its existing services within the wider TI Group.

ABS benefits for both firms and consumers

TI Law Ltd is now independently authorised and regulated by CILEx Regulation and as such, is required to comply with a range of regulatory requirements, including the CILEX Code of Conduct and the CILEX Accounts Rules.

It is also required to have in place a set of policies and procedures that we have considered to be suitable. In addition, CILEx Regulation as an Anti-Money Laundering Supervisory Body, will now also monitor the firm’s anti-money laundering arrangements.

Having these measures in place provides additional assurance to consumers while further enhancing the good standing of the firm. CILEx Regulation’s extensive experience as a regulator also provides high levels of consumer protection by ensuring appropriate oversight of activities.

We spoke to Charlotte Grant, Trust Inheritance Group CEO to find out how she found the experience of applying for ABS status.

How did you find out about the CRL ABS Scheme?

We were already aware of the regulators available and wanted to work with a more recent entrant into this sector which is more aligned to our customer-focused outcomes.

How did you find the CRL ABS application process?

Excellent, apart from their lack of understanding of the ownership structure of an Employee Ownership Trust. We found a compromise to this though. The delay in becoming regulated was down to the PII market.

What benefits will ABS status bring to your organisation?

After seeing growth in the area of probate, it became evident that it would be sensible to bring this work in-house. It meant that regulated work, which was previously delivered in partnership with regulated entities, could be completed internally giving us better control over service levels.

It will also give us the ability to extend our group services to include more complex bespoke estate planning services and provide reassurance for our commercial partners and customers that any reserved activities we provide are regulated.

What advice would you give to others considering the ABS route?

I would reassure them there is nothing to be afraid of!

What are your future plans for the business?

To develop a highly professional, well recognised, bespoke estate planning service for more complex estates and see where this leads us in the future with regards to extending our regulated services further.

 “Becoming a CILEx Regulated ABS feels like a natural next step for our organisation and has given us the ability to extend our services. This aligns with our strategy to develop a highly professional, well recognised, bespoke estate planning service for more complex estates. It has also fuelled our ambition to extend our regulated services further in the future. It also provides reassurance for our commercial partners and customers that any reserved activities we provide are regulated. We are excited about what the future holds for our in-house boutique law firm”. Ekta Porter, Chief Officer of Legal Planning at TI Law:

 CILEx Regulation is currently working with a number of other applicants who will similarly bring further opportunities for innovation and business growth to the legal sector.

* Sometimes referred to as a Licensed Body.

Find out more

Access our ABS web page or email Giles Probert, CRL Entity Authorisation and Supervision Officer giles.probert@cilexregulation.org.uk

 

 


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