Co-operative Legal Services (CLS) has increased its revenue and expanded its reach significantly in the first half of this year with multiple new partnerships.
Results published yesterday showed that revenue rose 5% to £20m in the six months to 3 July.
But when what are now personal injury small claims are stripped out, a market CLS has now left with the Co-operative Group’s sale of its insurance underwriting business at the end of 2020, the underlying business saw turnover up 12% to £19m.
There was no profit figure provided for the half-year; revenue for the whole of 2020 was down £2m to £37m, with profits dropping by a third to £4m. CLS was one of the first three alternative business structures licensed back in 2012.
Probate case volumes have increased by 17% in 2021 on the same period last year, although CLS said there was a “short-term trend” during the pandemic towards clients opting for DIY probate “due in part to an increase in people with additional time available to them”.
The number of new wills was up slightly compared to 2020 “against a backdrop of a smaller overall market this year, due to the pandemic accelerating demand”.
CLS’s family law practice saw turnover grow 9%, with employment law stable, but it predicted that the end of the furlough scheme would see a rise in employment cases in the second half of the year.
“To drive overall growth in the business, we have continued to invest in our digital capabilities and have launched new products and services including a lasting power of attorney digital service and a digital probate administration service.
CLS also reported on several new partnerships it has entered into this year, including with Elder, a leading provider of live-in care services; The Openwork Partnership, one of the UK’s largest financial advice and investment networks; financial advisers Owl Financial and 2plan Wealth Management; and the charities RNLI, Alzheimer’s Research, The Royal Marsden, Amnesty International and Dementia UK.
It also has two new agreements with existing partner Legal & General to provide services to the customers of L&G Financial Advisers and L&G Care.
CLS also recruited its first cohort of five solicitor apprentices this year.