Trethowans, based in Southampton and Salisbury, has become the third regional firm and former hub in Pannone’s Connect2Law network to launch its own brand – United Law.
United Law has 98 members in Dorset, Hampshire and part of Wiltshire. Emma Sainsbury, business development manager at Trethowans, said it co-operated with other former Connect2Law hubs across the country.
She said these included Hub.Legal  in the West Midlands and Fusion Legal  in the East Midlands, Veale Wasbrough in Bristol, Mayo Wynne Baxter in Brighton, Andrew Jackson in Hull and Hugh James in Cardiff.
“We’ve all agreed to respect previous Connect2Law boundaries,” Ms Sainsbury said. “We also have links with networks abroad, for example if a client wants advice on corporate law in India.”
As with the other regional networks, member firms are not asked to pay a fee, but Trethowans benefits from the work referred to it. A ‘no poaching agreement’ prevents the firm from luring clients away from member firms.
“Ultimately, at the end of the day, the client is a winner if their local solicitor is a member of one of these networks and can assist them by passing their case along,” Ms Sainsbury said.
“I think members do derive benefits from it. There’s no obligation on them to make referrals or attend training sessions.”
Members can get free telephone advice on legal and practical issues, including compliance, from Trethowans. The firm has negotiated preferential rates on behalf of its members for IT, training and indemnity insurance.
Simon Rhodes, managing partner at Trethowans, added: “United Law is perfect for law firms who specialise in certain areas of work and whose clients need help with other legal services that they cannot undertake themselves.”
“More and more member law firms are finding out it is a perfect way for them to offer a full-service proposition, while also enjoying the benefits of being a member.”