So the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) have become the first licensing authority for alternative business structures (ABSs). This is despite concerns over both the limited nature of CLC's experience and the lack of clarity on the CLC's separate business rules.
With the Bar Standards Board having recently taken the decision that it will regulate advocacy focused ABSs (albeit with restrictions in place meaning that they will be very different entitities from other ABSs), and the SRA having obtained the 'yes' vote needed to clear the way for their application to become an ABS licensing authority, things are definitely moving on.
However, there is doubt about the start date of 6th October. There is a lot of work still be done, and parliamentary steps to be taken. Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly refused to confirm that ABSs will start on this date when questioned at a recent Legal Week forum, and Legal Services Board Chairman David Edmonds apparently sent out the same message at a recent Legal Futures Conference. The SRA are still working on their ABS application documentation and one suspects that in order to be anywhere near ready to accept ABS applications by 6th August will take a herculean effort.