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One of the UK's largest pub and nightclub chains has launched a divorce and family law advice service.
The company successfully applied to become a new Alternative Business Structure allowing it to operate as a law firm, a pub and a nightclub at the same time.
As legal aid cuts come into force today, thousands of people will be left without access to legal representation. The company hopes to capitalise on this by providing their customers with cut price legal advice conveniently located at the point where many marriages break down.
Managing Director, Derek Vice, explained: "We often see couples arguing in our pubs and clubs. Until now these couples have lost us money as customers around them drank up and left. Now we can generate new revenue by offering them our low cost divorce package.
"In future, arguing couples will be politely encouraged to go to the bar where one of our trained barmen will be able to advise them on the divorce process and start legal proceedings."
The company already hires many law graduates as bar staff. Lawrence Drake, who has a first class law degree, began working in one of the company's pubs to help pay off his student loans. He commented: "I've now been working here for six years and I had given up hope of ever working as a lawyer. Now that the pub I work for has become a law firm, my legal career has a bright future."
Before presenting clients with divorce papers to sign, the legally trained bartenders are required to administer an alcohol breath test. Any client found to be over the legal limit will be required to perform some basic mental-function tests before being allowed to proceed. Tests piloted so far include being able count how many green bottles are hanging on the wall, after which one bottle is removed and the client is asked to recount. This process is repeated until there are no green bottles hanging on the wall.