As regular readers of our blog will already be aware, here at Postlethwaite Solicitors we practice what we preach and are employee owned. What you may not know is that recently we have changed our structure to “Alternative Business Structure” or ABS to allow us to extend our employee ownership scheme to non-lawyer employees.
Robert Postlethwaite, founder and MD of our firm recently told Legal Futures that the move came following the firm’s expansion earlier this year to include Emma Wise Chartered Tax Advisor and another tax specialist fee earner. If our structure had remained unchanged, the non-lawyer share ownership would have been limited to less than 10%. Robert saw the potential that ABS status would give in terms of opportunity that could be pivotal in the firm’s continued success in an evolving and dynamic market.
Robert says “I would encourage more firms to look at employee ownership, not just within professional services, but where the value is people. Certainly many law firms may find it a valid part of their strategy for becoming a 21st Century law firm.”
It is worth noting that whilst a new structure will enable the potential growth of both the firm and the business, it is not the ABS status alone that will achieve this, central to the plan are an innovative, inclusive culture at Postlethwaite that allows it to flourish, with excellence and client care at the core.
It would seem that Postlethwaite are in good company, in an article also published on Legal Futures this week, Julia Hulme of Omnia Strategy (the multi-faceted firm chaired by Cherie Blair QC) said that she felt the advantage to law firms with ABS status over others was the ability to close the gap between what clients need and what law firms can offer. She went on to say “clients are expecting a lot more from their lawyers today – they want better solutions at reasonable rates. This requires a more agile structure [ABS] offers flexibility and a modern approach.”
We firmly believe that ABS will become more common place for professional services, if you would like to discuss what the options may be for your firm in terms of employee ownership and business structuring, please do get in touch with us as we would be more than happy to talk it through with you.