Leeds Law firm in groundbreaking Alternative Business Structure with National Trade Union TSSA

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Morrish Solicitors LLP converted to “ABS” status on 20 December 2013, with a unique collaboration with one of its Trade Union clients, the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA).

TSSA will join the firm as a partner and member of the LLP, bringing external investment to the law firm, which provides services to the Trade Union movement across the UK, acting for some 20 trade union clients.

Paul Scholey, senior partner, said, “We have worked with TSSA and the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority for 12 months to establish what we believe is the world’s first Union-based ABS.  It brings us closer to one of our most significant clients, whilst TSSA benefits from a direct financial relationship with a major service provider.” 

Scholey continued, “We have ensured that rigorous controls are in place to provide for our continuing independence and impartiality – and so that our other clients can be satisfied thattheir interests continue to be best served as ever.  The SRA licensing process has been painstaking in its detail to ensure that past, present and future clients’ positions are 100% safeguarded.”

Frank Ward, Assistant General Secretary of TSSA, said, “We are delighted to be able to announce joint partnership working with Morrish from 20 December.  We have a long and happy relationship with Morrish, and the natural next step now that non-lawyer investment in law firms is permissible was to look at better integration of the provision of legal services to our Union and our members – but without any of the regulatory issues that would arise were we to create an in-house legal team.  We are looking forward to developing our legal offering for members together with our legal partners”.

For further information, see article in the Yorkshire Post.



Morrish Solicitors have worked with the Trade Union movement for over 100 years and offer quality legal services to private individuals, Trade Unions and their members. Services include:


  • Personal injury, including catastrophic injury, occupational illness and asbestos disease claims
  • Employment rights and industrial relations
  • Medical negligence claims
  • Professional negligence claims
  • Matrimonial and family law
  • Elderly client, wills, probate and estate planning
  • Property and conveyancing
  • Trade union rule book and constitutional matters

They have over 80 employees, with offices in Leeds, Bradford, Yeadon and Pudsey.

TSSA – the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association – is the union for people in transport and travel.

  • Founded in 1897, they represent 22,000 administrative, managerial, professional and technical workers in the railway, London Underground, the travel trade, ports and ferries.
  • Their members range from highly skilled engineers and senior managers to booking office staff and call centre workers.
  • TSSA offers members collective and individual representation at work, from supporting pay negotiations to attending disciplinary hearings.

ABS – Under the Legal Services Act non-lawyer investment in law firms has become a reality (through the Alternative Business Structure or “ABS”) and already a number of household-name organisations have announced an intention to enter the legal market.  The LSA also gives organisations such as Trade Unions the ability to invest in partner law firms.  The SRA’s licensing process is lengthy and detailed, so that the public interest tests established by the LSA are met e.g. maintenance of client confidentiality, impartiality and independence.  SRA has cleared the Morrish/TSSA ABS with effect from 20/12/13.  The existing Morrish partners will continue to run the business day-to-day and retain ultimate control and ownership of it; TSSA will have no access to information about other clients of the firm.  TSSA will be able to participate in distribution of profits of the firm.  It is thought that this is the first ever instance of a Union/law firm ABS.

For further information, please contact Laura Tatterstall, Head of Communications at Morrish Solicitors on: 033 3344 9600, Mob 07595 564 764 or email [email protected]



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