Italy’s Pirola Pennuto applies for ABS licence

An Italian firm has become one of the first from outside the UK to apply for alternative business structure (ABS) status.

Former PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) network firm Pirola Pennuto Zei & Associati, a €100m firm with 11 offices across Italy, England and China, has applied for an ABS licence so that its accountants and lawyers can share revenues and profits.

Pirola has been in London since 2011 and has five lawyers in the office, though the firm plans to double that number by the end of 2013. The firm’s London office offers legal and tax advice and if its ABS application is approved could expand this to include tax compliance and accounting services.

In a statement, London partner Colin Jamieson said: “The Italian legal market’s very different to the UK.

“While we could provide a full range of business services in the UK, we’d have to keep the financials separate. So we’ve decided to apply to become an ABS to allow us to ensure we can build a fully integrated office here providing a full range of multidisciplinary services.”