Huge jumps in turnover and profits at Co-op Legal Services

Co-op Legal Services: Most new clients captured online

Pioneering alternative business structure Co-operative Legal Services (CLS) saw a major year of growth in 2023, with revenue up nearly 48% to £68m and profits leaping 260% from £8m to £21m.

Speaking to Legal Futures in 2022, managing director Caoilionn Hurley said the aim was to become a £100m operation by 2027, and this is now looking on the cards.

CLS – which was the second alternative business structure licensed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority back in 2012 – describes itself as the UK’s largest regulated provider of wills, estate planning and probate services and said this was the main driver of the growth.

CLS took on 9,357 new probate clients last year, a 20% increase on the previous 12 months and 26,539 new estate planning clients, a 37% rise.

Partnerships are another key plank of CLS’s strategy and in added more than 10 in 2023, including Saga, the Co-operative Bank and Central Co-op – neither of which are owned by the Co-operative Group – and Barnardo’s, Co-op’s charity partner.

The focus on technology has seen an average of two to three new technology releases per week, whether improvements of existing applications or new technology; in 2023, 60% of new clients came to CLS through digital channels, the first time a majority were brought in this way.

CLS also became the first legal firm to offer services via Amazon.

Ms Hurley said: “Despite challenging external factors, our business has continued to show significant growth, which is apparent in the increase in both revenue and profits.

“Our focus on growing and building new partnerships, improving the accessibility of our services, engaging and attracting more Co-op member-owners, and continuing to improve and introduce new pieces of technology have all helped us to deliver incredible year on year results, a strategy which we will continue to adopt throughout 2024.”

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