Co-operative Legal Services (CLS) has announced that it is switching its volume conveyancing partner, from Blacks in Leeds to Total Conveyacing Services (TCS) in Cheshire.
Matt Howells, managing director of CLS, told Legal Futures last month  that he regarded the existing conveyancing service offered by CLS as “in its infancy” and said a new partner could be brought on board.
“TCS has an in-depth understanding of the conveyancing market, and I am confident that working with them will allow us to broaden our offering for customers and members, and will increase the capacity of our service,” Mr Howells said this week.
Blacks, based in Leeds, has its own volume conveyancing business, Blacks Direct, which operates from a separate building in the city to the rest of the firm. Blacks Direct is a member of the Conveyancing Association.
TCS, based in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, was set up in 2006 and, according to CLS, was recognised by the Land Registry as one of the top 15 conveyancers in England and Wales in May this year. It is an alternative business structure regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers.
A spokeswoman for CLS confirmed that the alternative business structure was “no longer working with Blacks” and said the new contract, with TCS, had started on 1 October.
However, she said that “to ensure a smooth transition for our customers, all existing Blacks customers will continue to be serviced by Blacks until their work is complete”.
She added: “We are confident that this new contract will build a platform to take our business positively into 2015.”
CLS is marking the new partnership by offering customers, colleagues and members a 5% discount on conveyancing fees.
Sarah Ryan, managing director of TCS, commented that the firm was “committed to enhancing our product offering through innovation and investment” and she was “confident that our service and products will align to the needs of CLS’ customers and members”.
Matt Howells is speaking at next month’s Legal Futures Annual Conference – Era of the Entrepreneur. Click here  for details.