Thompsons becomes latest ABS with double licence

One of the UK’s biggest personal injury firms has become the latest to receive ABS approval.

Stephen Cavalier
Stephen Cavalier

Thompsons Solicitors and its subsidiary BBH Legal Services have been granted ABS licences by the SRA.

The approvals are effective as of 1 January 2013, meaning the process has taken 12 months as Thompsons was among the first firms to apply when the applciations process opened on 1 January this year.

A statement from the firm said it has sought ABS approval simply to admit its finance director Andrew Lyburn as a new LLP member.

The firm added: “It will also allow us in the future to admit as LLP members Thompsons colleagues who are not qualified lawyers.”

Chief executive Stephen Cavalier said: “We’re pleased with the outcome of our application, which will in the short term enable our finance director to become a member of Thompsons Solicitors LLP and a director of BBH (Legal Services) Ltd, and in the long term will provide an opportunity for other non-lawyers to become members.”

However, Cavalier has categorically ruled out external investment and said the ABS conversion does not represent a shift in direction, governance or ownerhip structure.

Thompsons’ head office is in London, but it has a strong presence in the north west and 23 practising offices across England and Wales.

A number of law firms have been granted ABS licenses in the second half of this year, including Irwin Mitchell, Parabis (3 September 2012) and Keoghs. The North West insurance firm is set to receive a cash injection from private equity house LDC (2 November 2012).