WHSmith to provide in-store legal services
The move will see QualitySolicitors place “Legal Access Points” (LAPs) prominently in hundreds of WHSmith stores. These LAPs will be staffed by the local QualitySolicitors firm in each location and will provide easy access to legal services to consumers.
From the LAP, iPad ‘apps’ will be used to allow staff to book appointments, provide conveyancing quotes, sell wills packages and fixed fee advice sessions, and sign up people to the new QualitySolicitors Loyalty Card scheme. The partnership will also see QualitySolicitors seek to place free legal guides and advertising in Travel locations across the country.
QualitySolicitors Chief Executive, Craig Holt, said “This move represents the future of legal services. It is a game changer, providing both the key elements required for market dominance – accessibility and visibility. It provides everything the Legal Services Act was hoped to provide without the perceived negatives – accessible, consumer-friendly legal services but with the actual legal work being done by expert, leading local law firms and not unqualified staff in a remote call centre. WHSmith have over 1,000 stores and over 70% of the population visit their stores each year.”
WHSmith Commercial Development Director, Ian Sanders, said, “We’re delighted to be able to offer our customers easy access to legal services through QualitySolicitors and look forward to a long and successful partnership”.
The move by QualitySolicitors comes ahead of the implementation of the Legal Services Act. From October this will enable non-legal organisations such as banks and supermarkets to offer legal services and is seen as posing a significant threat to traditional law firms.
The partnership will launch in the summer with the roll out of the first LAPs and additional in-store advertising. At the same time, QualitySolicitors will be launching a heightened TV campaign to support this and a further range of initiatives due to launch, including all QualitySolicitors firms opening on Saturdays and a wide implementation of fixed fee legal services.
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