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Consumers just want a good, cheap lawyer

Will relaxing the separate business rule be the kiss of death for the solicitor brand, asks Stuart Bushell

11 March 2015

The SRA consultation on whether or not to relax
its separate business rule (SBR) closed in mid-February. The regulator had hoped that the proposal to 'liberalise' the rule would be a popular one with the traditional majority
of firms who don't want to go down the alternative business structure (ABS) route but do want the scope to do more to compete with the new types
of firm.

However, the national Law Society and the City of London Law Society have objected. In its response to the consultation, the latter said the proposals would cause 'irreparable damage' to the solicitor brand and that lead to unregulated lawyers dominating all legal activities other than those 'reserved' to solicitors. In the face of such opposition, will the

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