Co-op to offer wills through Amazon as it unveils soaring finances

Co-op Legal Services: Amazon first

Co-operative Legal Services (CLS) recorded a 19% increase in revenue and 60% rise in profit in 2022 as it became the first law firm to strike a deal to offer services through Amazon.

Saying it had “outperformed the market”, CLS saw revenue up from £39m in 2021 to £46.3m, and underlying profit go from £5m to £8m.

We reported last year that CLS’s aim was to become a £100m operation by 2027, particularly through accelerating growth through the business-to-business partnerships it was forming.

CLS has signed an agreement with Amazon UK to sell its digital wills through the platform, it revealed. To date, Amazon has only sold DIY will packs.

“We are the first legal firm to work with Amazon UK and this arrangement fits with our strategy of making legal services more affordable and accessible, bringing our services to new groups of customers in a way that works for them,” the Co-op’s annual report said.

A single will is priced at £150 and mirror wills at £245. After completing the online process, customers will receive a follow-up phone call to answer any questions and finalise the will, which CLS said “will then be professionally drafted and posted to them to sign”.

CLS, which now has around 650 staff, also has a new partnership to provide estate planning and probate services to Co-operative Bank customers, and renewed partnerships with M&G, Newcastle Building Society, Saffron Building Society and Cancer Research UK.

The self-proclaimed largest regulated provider of wills, estate planning and probate services, it took on 24% more probate cases than in 2021 and delivering a 28% uplift in revenues. Estate planning revenues rose 9%.

It also wrote 2,903 charity wills, 440 more than in 2021, with charitable pledges totalling an estimated £51m.

The strategy to enable digital access to Co-op’s products and services led 50% of all clients to access legal services digitally during the year, with client satisfaction across all channels at 85%, down just a single percentage point, while its Trustpilot score went up slightly to 4.8.

CLS managing director Caoilionn Hurley said: “Our strategy of increased digitalisation and accessibility, growing and maintaining strong partnerships, and the delivery of unique customer journeys has supported our growth this year leading to high levels of client satisfaction.”

CLS – the second alternative business structure to be licensed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, back in 2012 – sits within the Co-op’s ‘life services’ business, alongside funeral and insurance services.

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