Co-operative Legal Services are being watched by thousands of independent solicitors throughout the country. They were one of the first organisations to be granted an Alternative Business Structure licence by the Solicitors Regulation Authority in 2012.
What’s all the fuss? Certain services can only be provided by solicitors including conveyancing and litigation and prior to October 2011 only solicitors could employ solicitors to offer those services. This effectively meant that solicitors had a monopoly on those services however as of October 2011 other organisations, not necessarily owned by solicitors, have been able to apply for licences to become Alternative Business Structures and to offer regulated services.
It was dubbed “Tesco law” as people speculated that the likes of Tesco would wish to offer legal services. As it happens, I am not aware that Tesco has shown any interest in offering legal services however the Co-op group has and hence the birth of Co-operative Legal Services.
So how are the Co-operative Legal Services doing? According to the Law Society Gazette they posted a £3.4m loss in the first half of 2013. The Co-op Group are not doing too well either as according to the BBC they made losses of more than £2bn in 2013.
I’ve just had a look on the website of Co-operative Legal Services to see whether they have any branches in Essex. However, all I could find was a local rate telephone number so I’m none the wiser whether you can see a solicitor from the Co-operative Legal Services in Essex.
Liam Hastings is a solicitor at Hastings & Co Solicitors. Hastings & Co Solicitors is a niche solicitor’s practice in Chelmsford, Essex specialising in debt collection, litigation, employment law, personal injury, landlord and tenant and commercial law. For independent advice contact us on 01245 835 305.