UK insurer RSA is the latest business to be awarded an alternative business structure (ABS) licence by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), in a joint venture with Parabis Law.
According to a spokesperson at the insurer, RSA Law Limited has been created to ‘support our customers who have a genuine need for a seamless high quality claims and legal service.’
The licence, which is effective from 1 April, will initially consist of six legally qualified individuals led by a head of legal practice Allison Kemp – seconded into RSA Law from Parabis. Kemp will have responsibility for legal risk management within the ABS as well as managing the day-to-day operation and delivery of legal services. Legal Business understands that the in-house department, which is led by group general counsel Derek Walsh, is not involved in RSA Law – which will be a separate legal entity.
The joint venture’s licence allows it to practice a range of reserved legal activities including: rights of audience, conduct of litigation, reserved instrument activities, probate activities, and to administer oaths. The licence is conditional on the venture not disclosing client information or records to RSA without first obtaining the client’s consent while RSA is also not allowed to represent itself as being regulated by the SRA.
The move with the RSA follows Parabis’ partnership with Direct Line at the start of 2014 as that insurer also obtained an ABS licence. Insurer Ageas has also formed an ABS to provide legal services to customers, teaming up with NewLaw Solicitors.