Whether you want to set up a new law firm, incorporate an existing practice, or apply to become an Alternative Business Structure (ABS) and require SRA authorisation, we can help you to navigate the SRA new firm or ABS application process smoothly and effectively. We have a proven 100% record of successful new law firm and ABS applications, and we will guide you through the maze of requirements.
How can we help you become SRA authorised?
We will project manage your new law firm or Alternative Business Structure application process from start to finish, including:
- Advising you on the firm’s structure
- Advising on and turning your ideas into a business plan and financial projections – this is the first step
- Assisting you with obtaining professional indemnity insurance – this is the second step. You will need a PII quote or certificate for your SRA application
- Calculating the SRA application fee
- Completing SRA Form FA1 (Firm Authorisation Application Form)
- Completing SRA Form FA2 (Individual Approval Application Form – for managers, owners, COLP and COFA)
- Producing your bespoke risk and compliance manual, containing all the policies and procedures you need to comply with the Practice Rules and recent legislation
- Preparing your COLP and COFA documentation, including our unique risk register, compliance plan and COLP and COFA active monitoring system
- Defining exit strategies – you will need a succession plan
- Liaising with the SRA Authorisation Team and dealing with any follow-up queries they might have
Preparing for your new law firm or ABS application
Preparation is key, and there is much to consider. At the outset we will ask you for the personal details of proposed owners and managers, and for COLP and COFA; CVs for key personnel; detailed law firm ownership/management and supervision experience; details of the office address, how you will finance the firm, and estimated turnover for the first 3 years. You must decide whether to have a client account and how you will manage it (eg internal cashier or outsourced solution), what case or file management system you propose to use, and your IT architecture.
How long will it take to become authorised?
The SRA’s target is to process and authorise new law firm applications within 3 to 4 months (or up to 6 months for ABS applications), but SRA authorisation will typically be decided within two months (or 2 to 3 months for ABSs). We aim to speed the process as far as possible through a structured and organised approach, ensuring that all the required information is included when you submit the application to avoid delays at a later stage.