Alternative Business Structures: Converting an in-house legal team to a successful legal firm

Public service commercialisation

Many government organisations in the UK are trying to sell their expertise to other organisations both nationally and internationally.


Our agency is currently developing the business case and business development strategy for a legal firm to be owned by a London local authority. This firm will build on the local authority’s track record, particularly its expertise and track record in housing, corporate and education law.

The Challenge

In the last decade, most governments across the western world have seen their budgets radically reduced as a result of the economic downturn. In response, organisations are looking to both reduce budgets and increase income through selling services they provide in-house, to other organisations. Our client’s aspiration is to become a national leader in the provision of legal services to government organisations initially in the UK. Our challenge as the organisation’s commercialization and incubation partner is to provide evidence-based advice that can deliver a successful business model and operation.

Our Solution

The purpose of our involvement is to reduce the risk of failure and increase the chances of commercial success, by helping this organisation develop a robust business case. Our services include:

  • Analysis of demand for legal services by Housing Associations, Academies, local authorities and other potential clients
  • Analysis of competitors including other alternative business structures (ABS’) and private sector law firms
  • Review of the workforce capabilities needed for a successful operation in the first 2 years of the firm’s life
  • Financial modeling for the first 2 years of the firm’s operation

Introduction to potential clients to help the firm co-create the services it will offer with those who will hopefully purchase these.

Our Results

The legal firm is launching subject to professional, internal and governmental approvals its agency in the autumn of 2016 on the basis of robust, specific evidence. To date, our work has ensured that all investment in the development of this work is based on evidence and that target clients are engaged at the earliest possible opportunity.