Yuliya Andresyuk, Founding Partner, Oracle Family Office

The ABS structure has been a great thing for us. It has allowed us to think about how we work in a different way, to provide better service to our clients, and simply to serve more clients.

UK-based Oracle Family Office is a boutique legal practice that serves CIS clients in the areas of corporate law, immigration, private debt financing and IP protection. Oracle Family Office originated as the in-house legal practice of Oracle Capital Group, but spun out as an ABS in order to serve additional clients.

I first joined Oracle Capital Group as in-house counsel. As in-house counsel, I encountered repeated requests from clients to help them with a variety of their legal matters. Of course, as in-house counsel, I was not allowed to do that — I could only provide legal services to Oracle Capital Group.

We are a firm of three lawyers. In additional to Oracle Capital Group, our clientele consists of companies and individuals whose origins are in Eastern Europe / CIS countries and who are coming to the UK to live or do business.

About 60% of the work we do is for Oracle Capital Group and about 40% is for other clients.

We became an ABS in 2014. We spent a lot of time and resources to prepare our application to the SRA. I suspect that is the reason why, once we filed our application, the process with the SRA went smoothly and quickly.

Our status as an ABS enables us to have a nonlawyer shareholder, and we recently finalized Oracle Capital Group’s investment in our firm.

Before I decided to move out of Oracle Capital Group in order to create Oracle Family Office, I shared the view that having nonlawyer ownership of a law firm would create ethical issues. But now that I’ve been working so closely with Oracle Capital Group, I don’t see that happening. Oracle Capital does not get involved in the legal work we do for our clients. They’ve not questioned my opinions on how matters should be handled.

The fact that we have a capital investor provides me with financial security. I don’t carry the entire financial risk of the firm on my shoulders alone. I find that this makes me a better lawyer — it makes me less worried about generating as much work as possible in the form of billable hours, and more focused on getting the work done efficiently and effectively. We have been able to move from hourly billing to fixed pricing, which our clients appreciate.

I am aware that other countries, such as the United States, do not allow nonlawyer ownership of law firms. Having experienced it here in the UK, I think that they should see how other countries, like the UK, work because nonlawyer ownership has worked for my firm.

The ABS structure has been a great thing for us. It has allowed us to think about how we work in a different way, to provide better service to our clients, and simply to serve more clients.

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