CQS firm named as ABS by SRA

Many have said that the conveyancing market has been open to external investment for some time. Examples have included Countrywide the estate agent working with Countrywide Conveyancing Services and myhomemove investing in Premier Property Lawyers.  So what difference is ABS’s going to make if anything at all? 

Well it looks as if we are about to find out. 

Russell Jones & Walker, part of Slater & Gordon is the next ABS firm to be authorised by the SRA, and joins Co-operative Legal Services.  Unlike Co-operative Legal Services Russell Jones and Walker is a Conveyancing Quality Scheme solicitors practice.

Slater & Gordon the first publically listed Australian Law Firm are now able to acquire Russell Jones & Walker for £53.8 million, which includes the Claims Direct brand. Russell Jones & Walker has practised for more than 80 years, with ten offices employing more than 400 staff.

With access to capital from the markets Russell Jones and Walker is intent on growing.  

Neil Kinsella, Chief Executive at Russell Jones & Walker, said: "This is an exciting new chapter in our history and is an important step towards us achieving our ambition of becoming the largest and most trusted brand for personal legal services in the UK."  

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has also pointed out that seventy four Stage 2 forms have been submitted are presently being considered.

If some of the new entrants such as Co-operative Legal Services and Russell Jones and Walker use their access to capital to sell into the conveyancing market we may start to see an additional and new range of pressures on firms that up to now have not materialised.

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