The Co-op is going to offer family law legal services as soon as it can obtain the necessary licence from the SRA. Its recent press release suggested that it would be looking to recruit lots of family lawyers as a result.
“Is it good news other than for those lawyers whose positions might be at risk with the demise of legal aid?” Of course it is, anything with the potential for increasing standards on the high street is always good.
“Why is the Co-op choosing to go down this route, surely it has no previous expertise in the area?” Maybe not, but it has already recruited well established lawyers to head up and advise on the initiative and don’t forget that it has a long history of offering services at times of human misery as its funeral parlours already demonstrate.
“Okay but what’s in it for customers?” (Note we no longer call them clients) Well there won’t be any old fashioned “divis” but we can probably expect a move towards fixed pricing rather than hourly rates although I don’t anticipate that we shall see any two for one offers.
“How do the traditional high street firms feel?” Oh they are over the moon. To know that in the future their opposition has to live up to their label of co-operative, is like manna from heaven for those solicitors and their clients used to being dragged through the court process. Maybe collaborative law will expand even further!