Who’s afraid of Alternative Business Structures? – Exploring the potential for a shift in the European legal services markets

When: 03 Jun 2024, 14:15-15:30
Where: HoF 1.01 + online
Speaker: David Markworth

Hybrid event.

To enter the virtual seminar room, please use the following login credentials:

Zoom URL: https://uni-frankfurt.zoom-x.de/j/69671829303?pwd=TmphcENmR2E2eW85Zk1JUEJmS0IzQT09
Meeting ID: 696 7182 9303


It is still the worldwide professional norm that only lawyers are allowed to own law firms. For the EU, this could change due to a pending decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) that could give rise to so-called Alternative Business Structures (ABS). ABS permit nonlawyer outsiders to invest in entities that engage in the practice of law. Exploiting a 2007 reform allowing ABS in England and Wales and drawing on findings from previous work on the intersection of litigation finance and the German Legal Services Market’s regulatory set-up (see paper attached), I explore the (missing) potential of German ABS. Greater competition within the legal services industry and more choice for consumers could only reasonably be expected if legal expense insurers would be allowed as ABS investors. This, however, would in turn lead to the emergence of new, unresolved conflicts of interest.

Paper (for internal use only)