Essex law firm kenneth elliott + rowe is spearheading the launch of a new national legal network .
The firm has joined forces with a number of other law firms across the UK to create The Legal Alliance (TLA) and are targeting local law firms in a bid to sign them up to the network.
TLA will focus on marketing a wide range of legal services provided by local member firms in London and Essex to consumers and small businesses using a shared national brand.
kenneth elliott + rowe believes that awareness of legal brands is poor amongst the general public and that too many people are unable to compare legal services and understand the quality distinctions in such a fragmented market.
kenneth elliott + rowe is looking to attract new members in the region in order for TLA to offer a nationwide ‘local’ legal service. TLA will then work with major national brands to market legal services to their customer bases and employees.
Each TLA firm will operate within its own exclusive geographical area. Members also receive marketing support, access to group buying power, innovative products and opportunities for shared knowledge and strategic development.
TLA has already forged partnerships with a significant number of affiliates who operate in the consumer finance, insurance and retail sector. It will offer legal services to the customers of these affiliates.
Mark Sadler, partner at kenneth elliott + rowe said: “We’re urging local law firms to join up to this major national network. If traditional law firms don’t develop their services in the wake of the Legal Services Act, they’ll wither on the vine. We’re aiming to recruit member firms who will deliver legal services to people living or working within our local area.”
“Our research indicates that consumers of legal services prefer to access advice locally. The bulk of the work created by TLA will come from affiliate schemes set up with major players in the consumer, financial, insurance and retail sector. It’s all about ensuring local people can still obtain access to local legal advice.”
“We feel that law firms are crying out for this kind of opportunity to ensure they are evolving in the wake of increased competition in the sector as a result of the Legal Services Act.”
Heavyweight legal professionals heading up the project are Victor Semmens the former Chairman of Eversheds who now Chairs TLA and Ann Alexander, one of the UK’s leading clinical negligence lawyers, who is deputy chairman of the ambitious group.
Ann Alexander, deputy chair of TLA, said: “This is all about making it simpler for the public to access legal advice. It enables people to use local law firms who operate at fixed prices for many of their services. TLA has spent two years developing the concept and securing the backing of our founding members.
Stephen Mayson, consultant in legal practice and Professor of Strategy and Director of the Legal Services Policy Institute at The College of Law, added:
“It’s a time of profound change for UK law firms. The arrival of the Legal Services Act means firms must adopt new strategies if they are to thrive in the 21st century. Firms must ensure they form the necessary alliances now if they are to prosper in a market that will become increasingly competitive.”
“The creation of The Legal Alliance (TLA) is a good example of how forward-thinking solicitors are preparing themselves to provide a better experience of legal services for clients in their locality by forging key commercial partnerships at a national level.
“By creating a national network of independent law firms TLA is helping law firms in London to advance with great strides in 2009.”
The Legal Services Act reforms the way legal services in England and Wales are regulated and puts consumers’ interest at the heart of the regulatory framework. It received Royal Assent on 30 October 2007.
The LSA sets out the framework for reform, which includes setting up a Legal Services Board and an Office for Legal Complaints and enabling legal services to be provided under new business structures.