Seven partner firm is 15th to get license application approved by SRA
Andy Moston, head of conveyancing at the latest firm to get its ABS license approved by the SRA, has told solicitors to stop “whingeing” about the application process.
Moston said he worked as a paralegal for 30 years before becoming a partner last year in Langley Wellington, based in Gloucester and Cheltenham. There are six other partners.
“We’re lawyers,” he said. “We deal in paper all our lives. We should be used to this. Dealing with paperwork is not a problem. There’s no point in whingeing about it, just do it.”
Moston said the firm, the 15th to become an ABS regulated by the SRA, decided to make its application as soon as possible to “beat the rush”, and it was “quite scary” being in the same group of organisations as The Co-op.
“We will look at every opportunity to move the practice forward for the benefit of our clients,” he said. “We’re here to service clients in the locality. We don’t want to go beyond Gloucestershire.”
Moston said the firm had no immediate plans to appoint more non-lawyer partners and had not been approached by external investors.
“Any external investor would have to live up to our standards and the way we deal with our clients,” he added.
Langley Wellington, is a general civil practice, covering family law, residential and commercial property, personal injury, commercial property, employment, education and wills and probate. The firm’s ABS license takes effect on 1 October 2012.
In a statement today, Anthony Townsend, chief executive of the SRA, said he expected to authorise a number of ABSs over the coming weeks.
Responding to criticism about the length of time it had taken to approve applications and claims that the regulator was under-staffed, he said: “Our authorisation system has been built to be flexible enough to deal with a range of organisations with hugely varying corporate structures and robust enough to apply the same stringent suitability criteria by which traditional firms are judged.
“We make no apology for ensuring that the systems we have in place are thorough, but will continue to make improvements to the process as we gain further experience.”