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Today, the SRA announced it has authorised an ABS (Alternative Business Structure) licence for Minster Law Solicitors, a York and Wakefield based company with 800 employees. Minster Law is a top 35 law firm, and one of the leading personal injury specialists in the UK, with an annual fee income of £107m.

The ABS application, made in January 2012, will allow the sale of the company to the BGL Group, one of the UK’s leading insurance intermediaries. This will be the largest outright sale of a law firm to date.

Adrian Christmas, Chairman of Minster Law, commented: “As one of the most complex ABS applications that the SRA has had to manage, it has been, appropriately, the subject of a thorough review. Having worked closely with the SRA, we have been impressed by the rigorous and professional approach it has taken in handling this important process.”

“BGL Group and Minster Law have worked closely together for a number of years. The acquisition of Minster Law will enable our partnership to develop further and allow us to strengthen the market leading service we provide to our customers.”

Commenting for the SRA, Samantha Barrass, Executive Director said:  “We are delighted to license Minster Law Solicitors as an ABS.  Minster Law showed early interest in applying to become an ABS and it has been necessary for the process to involve a very detailed consideration of Minster Law’s application as it has a complex ownership structure.  The working relationship between the firm and the SRA throughout this exercise has been wholly constructive. This level of engagement has helped us hone our processes so that we are better able to advise applicants with similarly complex structures.”