Law firm network Connect2Law (C2L) has this week been relaunched with a new format and seven ‘platinum’ members who will work alongside leading alternative business structure Parabis.
In the wake of Slater & Gordon’s acquisition of Manchester firm Pannone, which created C2L, a deal was struck  to allow then head of C2L David Jabbari to take the brand with him and develop a new network of independent law firms.
The new-style C2L is no longer about small law firms that cannot handle a particular piece of work sending it ‘up the spoke’ to their regional ‘hub’ firm in return for a fee. The hub firms have been replaced by a new set of ‘platinum’ firms.
The initial group of platinum firms is: Essex and Hertfordshire firm Attwaters Jameson Hill; Chadwick Lawrence in Yorkshire; Shropshire and West Midlands practice FBC Manby Bowdler; Harrison Clark Rickerbys, which has offices from Hereford to Reading; Sussex-based Mayo Wynne Baxter; Nelsons in the East Midlands; and Greater Manchester firm SAS Daniels.
Each firm will have an area of geographical exclusivity within the C2L national network.
The new Connect2Law was allied to the Parabis group by its Mr Jabbari earlier in 2014, when he joined Parabis as its managing director of consumer law.
He said Connect2Law is seen as an important partner to Parabis in its overall offering to its mix of ABS, insurance, retail, banking and specialist affinity clients. The Connect2Law network enables Parabis to broaden the subject matter and geographical range of services it can offer its clients, while ensuring central control of quality.
This is achieved by a quality-assured membership structure that agrees not just formal service-level agreements with the platinum firms, but also supplies them with a range of shared services, audit and IT tools, and management and other advice.
Mr Jabbari said: “Connect2Law allows its members to be far more than the sum of their parts, enabling firms to receive high-quality national work from large brands, retailers, insurers and affinity groups, and corporates.
“It also allows firms to get more efficiency into their back and middle office, and provides a new approach to quality in all the points of contact between the firm and its clients.”
As well as formal financial, insurance, data protection and regulatory compliance requirements, he said C2L goes further and ensures network standards by, amongst other things, online client satisfaction surveys, quarterly evaluation of client experience via new enquiry audits, and quarterly benchmarking of client performance relative to peer group and the market.
The C2L firms will be given access to a new network platform that will enable information sharing and work allocation between the firms, as well as co-ordination of digital marketing initiatives.
C2L is not currently looking for more platinum firms, but in 2015 it will introduce a new tier of membership available within each platinum firm area, administered both centrally and by the relevant firm.
“This will be a tightly controlled membership which will pass on the benefits and work flows of the network to a carefully selected group of smaller firms,” Mr Jabbari said.
Since relinquishing the brand, Slater & Gordon has launched a replacement for C2L called Linked to Law, while three previous C2L hub firms – including two of the new platinum firms – have set up their networks independently: Hub.Legal , run by FBC Manby Bowdler; Fusion Legal , run by Nelsons; and United Law , run by Trethowans.