New year heralds exciting changes at regional law firm

Ellis Jones Solicitors is leading the way by becoming one of the first law firms in the area to adopt a groundbreaking business structure.

The regional law firm – with more than 170 staff in six offices – has stepped up its ambitious growth plans with the innovative new approach.

The bold move has seen it licensed as an Alternative Business Structure (ABS) by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

It gives Ellis Jones greater freedom, access to more external funding and the ability to appoint non-lawyers as Partners.

The firm has seized the opportunity to promote Private Client Consultant Andy Kirby to Partner – becoming the first non-lawyer Partner in Ellis Jones’ history.

Dual-qualified Andy, who specialises in Wills, Trust and Probate, is a member of the Association of Taxation Technicians and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).

Poole Grammar School alumni Andy becomes Ellis Jones’ record 22nd Partner after six years with the firm and 25 year in the legal sector overall.

Nigel Smith, Managing Partner at Ellis Jones Solicitors, said: “These are exciting times.

“We are one of the few law firms in the area to have obtained ABS status, which will allow us to seize more opportunities and continue to grow the firm.

“The immediate promotion of Andy as our first non-lawyer Partner is a proud moment and puts a marker down for our future ambitions under our ABS status.

“It also reflects the status and esteem in which Andy is held with a richly-deserved reputation for excellence among financial advisors and chartered accountants, especially in regard to his expertise in tax and trusts.”

Nigel added: “Ellis Jones has a long track-record of embracing innovation while staying true to its core values.

“As well as allowing us to continue to grow, our new ABS status will help us deliver a greater service for our many valued clients.”

Andy’s areas of expertise include trusts and estates, inheritance tax, income and capital gains tax, deeds of variation and will planning.

Andy, who is based at Ellis Jones’ Ringwood offices and services the needs of clients across the firm, said: “It’s a privilege to be the first non-lawyer Partner at Ellis Jones.

“It’s a great way to start the new year and mark our new ABS licensing.”

The new ABS licensing took effect at Ellis Jones on 1st January 2023.  

The Legal Services Act 2007 paved the way for ABSs, and from 2012 onwards, they came under the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA) regulatory remit.  

The SRA latest annual report showed there were 1,040 ABS firms, 10.5% of the total of 9,860 that it regulates.

Ellis Jones has in offices in Bournemouth, Poole (Canford Cliffs), Ringwood, Swanage and Wimborne as well as London.

PICTURE: GROUNDBREAKING: Ellis Jones Solicitors Managing Partner Nigel Smith (left) welcomes newly promoted Partner Andy Kirby (right) after the regional law firm became licensed as an Alternative Business Structure (ABS) by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

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