Manchester insurance litigation firm Horwich Farrelly has become the latest top 200 UK firm to gain an ABS licence.
The firm’s licence was approved in December and became effective last week (10 January), according to the SRA. The firm was one of a group of six to be granted a licence as the SRA continues to add to the ABS register.
Horwich Farrelly turned over £20m in 2011/12, according to The Lawyer’s UK200 report, making it the 107th largest firm in the UK.
Chief executive Anthony Hughes said the approval process had taken around 10 months from submission of the stage-one application, which was delayed slightly by the firm’s decision to create a limited company structure in May last year.
“Whilst it was a long process it was relatively pain-free and our experience of dealing with the SRA on a day-to-day basis was a good one,” Hughes added.
He said that the firm wanted to become an ABS because of the change within the civil litigation and personal injury sector and uncertainty brought about by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.
“We very much wanted to have the flexibility to be able to take a proactive approach to growth opportunities that we anticipate down the line. Whilst we have nothing to announce at this stage our objective is to diversify and grow the business significantly and the activity that we’re currently involved in suggests that what many see as a threat can be turned into an opportunity,” Hughes said.
There are now 74 organisations licensed as ABSs.