Jordans Limited to target outsourced City work as an ABS

Corporate service provider Jordans Limited has applied to convert to an alternative business structure (ABS) in a bid to provide legal services to companies and win outsourced work from City law firms.

The SRA is currently reviewing the Bristol-headquartered company’s application for a licence, with the group hoping the approval and launch will come by early next year.

Parent company Jordans, a 150-year-old company providing corporate services, property services and business information, is structured as three separate entities, of which Jordans Limited is the corporate services arm with bases in Bristol, Edinburgh and London. Another arm, Jordan Publishing, publishes legal information, while a third provides corporate services to international clients.

It already provides company secretarial services to businesses but plans to expand this to legal services, which it will offer to the same roster of clients. It also hopes to win work outsourced by City firms as an extension of its current businesses providing outsourced company secretarial services.

Jordans Limited divisional managing director Paul Townsend said it already had close ties with certain firms that outsource low-level work but declined to provide names.

He said the business would “build on the bulk of our experience to date, which focuses on compliance for companies. We’ll be looking at non-contentious work. We won’t be doing any litigation. That means our costs our lower.

“As for transactional work, it’s likely to be more basic due diligence work. It’s not likely to be a lead role [on deals],” Townsend added.

He said the company would target companies with a turnover of between £5m and £500m, building on the firm’s current non-legal work that includes share schemes, share restructuring and shareholder agreements, with a possible branch into IP.

The ABS is restricted to the Jordans Limited company secretarial division, although it is set to use its offshore bases in which similar work is carried out as sources of referred business. These offices are in Jersey, the British Virgin Islands, Cyprus and Seychelles, with a Hong Kong arm planned for the autumn.

The legal team will be spread across London, Bristol and Edinburgh, with the company currently recruiting a head of legal practice to run the ABS. It already has a compliance officer for legal practice and a compliance officer for finance and administration, as well as five paralegals. Townsend said it hoped to partner with a firm to offer legal traineeships but would not launch the ABS with these.