Perhaps one of the more unremarked-upon features of the Legal Services Act reforms has been the potential that ABS's offer for not-for-profit services. We are only just now starting to see the development of ABS's where the "business" element seems at best peripheral - for instance, Castle Park Solicitors, the ABS owned by the Leicester-based charity The Community Advice and Law Service; and now the ULaw ABS. As legal aid as we knew it disappears from the environment, it seems likely there will be many more.
The University of Law (ULaw) has become the first academic institution to be granted an alternative business structure (ABS) licence by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. ULaw said the licence will allow it to expand its legal advice clinic at the Bloomsbury branch in London, where trainee solicitors provide legal advice on a pro bono basis to members of the public in various areas of social welfare law, supervised by solicitors.