Forty applications for Alternative Business Structure (ABS) licenses reached the formal decision phase in the Solicitors Regulation Authority's (SRA) approval process between April and September this year, according to statistics.
The authority received 198 ABS applications in stage 2 between January and September, of which 47 applications have been invoiced, with the payment of the application fee kicking off the six-month decision phase. The number of ABS licenses granted reached 39 as at 8 November, up by 6 from the end of September. This means there were 151 stage 2 applications at the end of September, according to the new full data, which the SRA corrected after flaws in its quarterly performance report were inadvertently exposed by Legal Futures.
There is no specific time limit between filing the stage 2 application and it being deemed complete, which is one of the controversies concerning the ABS application process.
Meanwhile, defendant law firm Keoghs, which secured significant investment from private equity firm LDC, has become the fifth ABS to receive a licence with conditions attached concerning its structure.