Act shake-up sees Chambers merge

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CHANGES in the Legal Services Act and the financial climate meant that the merging of Paradise Chambers Sheffield and St John’s Buildings Chambers Manchester was “an excellent business proposition”, said David Anderson, the development manager for chambers.

They will open for business as St Johns Buildings Sheffield from Monday. The new act allows outside investors to take equity stakes in law firms for the first time via the introduction of alternative business structures (ABS), creating more competition in the legal market.

Mr Anderson said: “Consumers are now being extremely careful about how they spend their money regarding legal advice and they want the highest possible quality at the lowest possible price.”

Larger chambers benefit from economies of scale such as buying services in bulk and can tender for and run larger contracts, Mr Anderson said.

He also said that the merger means the chambers can help solicitors compete with alternative business structures on a fee and quality basis.