Online consultation on “Removing barriers to competition in legal services.”

The government has launched a consultation on removing barriers to entry for alternative business models in legal services. GMWRAG can’t help but struggle to think of an area of life where “greater competition” has reduced cost and may even wonder out loud if the solution for affordable legal services might be something called Legal Aid rather than introducing non-lawyers as a means of cost-cutting. Nevertheless, the government tells us that

“Alternative Business Structures (ABS) are firms which are partly or wholly owned or controlled by non-lawyers to provide legal services, or a mixture of legal and non-legal services.

We are consulting on proposals for changes that would, if made, reduce barriers to the licensing of, and regulatory burdens on, legal services businesses that are licensed as ABS, bringing the legislative framework for these businesses more in line with that for other legal services businesses.

We believe this would open up the legal services sector to more innovative businesses, encouraging greater competition and affordable legal advice for consumers”.

This is a 4 week online consultation, which can be completed at with more information at