Legal services: removing barriers to competition

Closed 3 Aug 2016

Opened 7 Jul 2016


On 30 November 2015 the government published, ‘A Better Deal: boosting competition to bring down bills for families and firms,’ which set out the government’s approach to encouraging open and competitive markets, for the benefit of the UK economy and UK consumers.

As part of this, the government pledged that it would consult on removing barriers to entry for alternative business models in legal services.

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.


  • Businesses
  • Legal professionals
  • Legal professional bodies


  • Legal services