Saga gains ABS licence with claim to offer “law for the people, not for the lawyers”


Ramsden: shake-up to legal services is long overdue

Over-50s specialist Saga has today been granted an alternative business structure (ABS) licence to launch a joint venture law firm with fellow ABS Parabis Law.

The company said it aimed to rebalance a market that “appears to be stacked in favour of the provider rather than the consumer”.

Saga is owned by the same private equity company as the AA, which today also announced it had been awarded an ABS licence, although its joint venture is with Lyons Davidson.

Saga, which has nearly 3m members, first entered the legal market in 2010 with online legal documents and expanded a year ago to offer fixed-fee will-writing, probate, powers of attorney and conveyancing services. Parabis has sat behind most of these services from the start, although conveyancing and some probate work is outsourced to other providers.

Roger Ramsden, chief executive of Saga Services, told Legal Futures that the ABS licence would allow the company to bring the legal function in-house in the future should it want to.

He was “very excited” by the demand from customers in the past year and said “I expect us to continue to grow” what Saga Law offers. Offering a way into legal services through a well-known brand “seems to resonate with the over-50s”.

Mr Ramsden continued: “A shake-up to legal services is long overdue. Currently the market appears to be stacked in favour of the provider rather than the consumer. We aim to change things so we have created a legal service with customers in mind not the convenience of lawyers. The granting of a licence to Saga Law is a further step along the path of Saga revolutionising legal services in the UK.

“People want legal advice and products at a price they understand, can afford and that is agreed in advance. They want a clearer idea of what it is they are paying for; legal issues are complicated and the jargon used by the industry prevents many people from understanding the process.

“Finally, they want a decent service. All too often customers have to chase solicitors for action and updates and this shouldn’t be the case. It is our intention to address those needs and to make legal services more accessible and affordable to a great many more people.”

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