The first effort to build a nationwide network of branded high street solicitors begins today with the opening of 15 branches under the QualitySolicitors name.
Firms in the QualitySolicitors’s existing 200-strong network – such as Burroughs Day in Bristol, Howlett Clarke in Brighton, Lindley Clough in Leeds, Morrish in Bradford, Lockings in Hull and Beverley, Stephensons in Wigan – will launch their new branding over the next week with the help of various celebrities, such as X-Factor finalist Stacey Solomon.
Other new branches include Portishead, Preston, Easingwold, Leicester, Peterborough and Colchester, with 35 more branches are set to launch by the end of August.
QualitySolicitors  – which is a Legal Futures Associate – plans to open branches in every major town and city within 12 months. The new branches will include locations in major shopping centres and have uniformed customer-care staff, extended opening hours, free initial consultations and a range of fixed-fee services.
The move has received the backing of Professor Stephen Mayson of the Legal Services Policy Institute, who described the move as a “game changer… that could leave traditional law firms wondering where their business has gone”.
John Baden-Daintree, managing partner of QualitySolicitors Burroughs Day, said: “Creating the first ‘household name’ national legal brand is an exciting development for the UK’s high streets and will fundamentally transform the legal market.”
QualitySolictors chief executive Craig Holt explained: “What the legal market is desperately missing is a recognisable, customer service focused, national brand – a ‘household name’ – that people can rely on without having to spend hours researching and choosing between dozens of local law firms.
“In the future, going to QualitySolicitors for legal matters will be as familiar and as easy as going to place like Barclays for banking or Thomas Cook for a holiday. QualitySolicitors will change people’s expectations in accessing legal services and make it easy, enjoyable even, to simply call in whilst out shopping and discuss their legal issue. Our down-to-earth, plain-speaking service promises no hidden costs, free initial advice, direct lawyer contact details and a guaranteed same-day response to all customers’ calls and e-mail. This is just the start of a series of innovations that will totally change people’s experience of using a law firm.”