Co-op to roll out face-to-face legal advice in bank branches


ABS winner: Djanogly visits Co-op’s legal HQ

The Co-op – which yesterday received its alternative business structure (ABS) licence – is to provide legal services through its banking network as it seeks to challenge the “legal postcode lottery”, it has announced.

Co-operative Legal Services (CLS) now employs nearly 500 people and saw its profits jump 15% to £4.5m, according to the business’s 2011 results. It has been piloting face-to-face advice in addition to the services currently provided from its base in Bristol – which justice minister Jonathan Djanogly visited yesterday to mark the award of the ABS licence.

The Co-op’s annual statement, released today, said: “The legal services business has already been putting its principles into practice with a pilot scheme to offer wills, estate planning, probate and bereavement advice, and funeral plans in 30 Co-operati

ve Bank branches.

“The pilot has shown the value of collaboration across Co-operative businesses (which lies at the heart of Project Unity) and will now be rolled out nationwide, while the service proposition will be enhanced to further customer needs and provide them with broader benefits from Co-operative services.”

The Co-op already has over 300 bank branches, including the Britannia, and is the preferred bidder for 632 Lloyds branches as well.

The statement said: “Legal Services’ strategy, in the wake of the deregulation of the legal services market, is to provide consistent, competitive legal advice to the ordinary person, backed by our scale, reputation, systems, service standards and training…

“We aim to provide Co-operative members and customers with accessible, high-quality legal advice and services at a competitive price, challenging the legal ‘postcode lottery’.”

Last year CLS recruited three prominent family lawyers to launch a family law service, which it will do later this year. It confirmed yesterday that this will involve fixed-fee services and legal aid work. It is in the middle of a recruitment campaign for the family and other teams.

Christina Blacklaws, a director of Co-operative Legal Services, will be speaking at next month’s Legal Futures Conference. For details, click here.

Tags:




Blog


What does 21st century client service mean to the client?

I don’t think I ever heard the phrase ‘client service’ while I was at law school (indeed, probably not for several years afterwards). But the litigation service that law firms are providing to their clients fit for purpose?


Microsoft 365’s dirty little secret

Microsoft 365 (formerly called Office 365) is one of the most widely used cloud services in the world, controlling around 48% of the market share for major office suites.


A new route to practice rights for chartered legal executives

Following approval from the Legal Services Board in May 2022, CILEx Regulation has launched an alternative route for chartered legal executives to obtain independent practice rights.


Loading animation