By Hugh Logue, Newswatch Editor
Family law solicitors are set to face greater competition after the Co-Operative Legal Services announced today it is to enter the family law market.
The Co-Operative Legal Services (CLS), based in Bristol, was established in 2006 and currently employs more than 400 staff delivering Personal Injury, Will Writing, Probate and Estate Administration, Conveyancing and Employment services. It has openly stated that it aims to become the preferred provider of consumer legal services in the UK.
CLS has been joined by three leading family lawyers from London-based law firm T V Edwards LLP - Jenny Beck, Managing Partner; Christina Blacklaws, Partner and Chris May, Head of Business Development and Strategy.
On 1 May Blacklaws Davis and TV Edwards merged creating one of the largest legal aid providers in the country.
Christina Blacklaws said: "We are delighted to be able to develop a family law service which will be both innovative and pioneering and which will address current unmet legal need. These are challenging times for both society and the legal profession, and our new range of services will address the very real need which exists as well as reaching out to those who do not currently access family legal services."
The three lawyers will develop the family law service as CLS prepares to obtain a licence from the Solicitors Regulation Authority to become an Alternative Business Structure (ABS).
Eddie Ryan, Managing Director of CLS, said: "We are working extremely hard with the Solicitors Regulation Authority in preparation for the introduction of ABS's and we look forward to being able to provide a full range of legal services to our members and customers. I am delighted to welcome Jenny, Christina and Chris into The Co-operative to spearhead our future family law services."