Law Firms to Battle Tesco
LONDON, April 22 LawFuel.com – Legal Newswire — Following Tesco’s announcement of record GBP3.1 billion profits, UK law firms have gone on the offensive against the retail giant. 100 law firms across the country have joined together to form a unique alliance – QualitySolicitors.com (http://www.qualitysolicitors.com ) – an initiative specifically designed to head off the threat posed by a predicted future move by Tesco to offer legal services alongside its current financial ones.
Chief Executive, Craig Holt, a London based barrister, comments, “People have a natural inclination to use services provided by names that are familiar to them even if that may not be the best thing for them. QualitySolicitors.com is about providing that ‘brand’ familiarity but associated with high quality, value for money, real solicitor firms. Legal services provided by supermarkets out of mass call centres can rarely, if ever, be the right option for consumers. It is a dangerous path to take and often matches people with legal representatives hundreds of miles away, or with expertise in areas irrelevant to their needs.”
QualitySolicitors.com will be marketed to the public and businesses through a widespread television and radio marketing campaign to develop the first ever household legal brand name with the specific aim of meeting the perceived threat posed by Tesco. Saleem Arif, Chief Operating Officer at QualitySolicitors.com, explains, “We will be marketed as the place for people and businesses to go to when needing a solicitor – no matter where they are located or what their legal issue is”. Users of the service will be matched to the most suitable member solicitor local to them by a team of legally trained case handlers. There will also be access to a whole host of online legal resources and information.
The move by the law firms comes as a result of recent government reforms which will permit, for the first time, non-legal companies to offer legal services(1). The reforms have been widely dubbed “Tesco law” due to the universally anticipated provision of legal services by the retail giant, although a number of other brand giants, including banks and supermarkets, are said to be actively intending to offer legal services. This move by law firms is seen as a “pre-emptive strike” – it comes at a time when the recession is hitting law firms hard with predictions that the combined effect of the credit crunch and the reforms could result in a third of law firms (over 3,000) going out of business(2).
Over 700 firms initially applied for membership of the organisation but QualitySolicitors.com was keen to limit its numbers to around 100 firms. The choice of the member law firms has been made by a selection panel headed by Chief Executive, Craig Holt, who comments, “We solve a long-standing problem people have in finding the right solicitor for their particular issue: we match them to the best member solicitor local to them with specific expertise in their issue. Ultimately the public will ensure our membership remains of the highest quality as those firms who don’t receive regular positive feedback from users of QualitySolicitors.com will be forced to leave the organisation and will be replaced by other firms”.