Clementi lures Seven Bedford Row into reform

Common law set Seven Bedford Row is gearing up for radical structural changes aimed at making it the first chambers to take advantage of Sir David Clementi’s legal reforms.

In a recent general meeting the set vowed to investigate how to transform into an alternative business structure (ABS), bringing in other professionals to support the set’s activities, which include ABSfriendly practices such as personal injury next to its criminal and commercial teams.

Stephen Allen, Seven Bedford Row chief executive, said: “We’re looking at ABS, if Clementi allows, as a way to overhaul our business support structure to add greater value and leverage to both our barristers and clients through additional services.”

The news comes just one month after The Lawyer revealed (12 February) that Russell Jones & Walker became the first law firm to look at drastic overhauls of its business structure through an ABS initiative in an effort to become a household name.

Mark Stobbs, a director at the Bar Standards Board, said: “Under current rules barristers can’t create partnerships, companies or work with other professionals.

“This doesn’t mean to say that the Legal Services Board when established may not change the benchmarks, so it’s not outside the realms of possibility.”