Co-op prepares to access 'every court in the land' with new bar panel

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  • I'm sure the courts will strain under the flood of work the Coop will capture with their brilliant strategy. It's pure genius. Targetting people with no money, making tiny profit margins, alienating half your group customer base (and their parents, family and frients) by representing one half of a couple in a messy divorces, opening themselves up to litigation/complaints/internet web forums when their 20k p/a "legal advisors" mess up the advice (because 4 hours training may not be enough to run litigated cases).

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  • Ben, I hate to have to tell you that not everyone has access to the legal market and getting a divorce should not have to cost the world because lawyers are charging £100+ for their services. Also, this is not just about divorce, it is about family matters, ie, dealing with social services. There is a whole generation out there which is currently reliant on pro bono services for their legal matters and/or legal aid. One of those tools will be gone from April and something has to fill the void. Not everyone has a messy divorce that they need a top City lawyer to deal with.
    It is time to realise that cheaper doesn't necessarily mean crapper.

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  • This is the last time I shop at the Coop. I haven't been inside a Tescos for five or six years after they went into conveyancing and slagged off solicitors for being slow generalists (licensed conveyancers apparently being a far superior breed). Running out of places to shop now. Hope Harrods and Fortnums don't go into legal services.

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  • What they are doing can be done profitably, but only at the expense of a lot of very disatisfied clients.

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  • Like Dayglo Dave, I have struck back. Explained to teenage daughter who relies on parental largesse what the Coop was up to in the legal market. She has closed her savers account with the Britannia, taken over by the Coop. When the "person behind the counter" asked the reason for her closing the account, cue opportunity for me as a Solicitor to enlighten her. She didn't comprehend the position but I enjoyed the moment. Have asked husband to close any account with or linked to the Coop. From little acorns?????

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  • Anonymous | 2-Oct-2012 10:16 am
    The Coop are not a charity, they are charging poor/low level income people for services. These people don't have lawyers because they can't afford to pay lawyers. Regional lawyers dealing with family matters are pretty cheap as it is, so their market is people who cannot afford really cheap lawyers. Therefore fixed fees would have to be extremely low in order to make the client "bite". With fixed fees being so low, I don't see how they could generate any real profit, especially in these financial times.
    Furthermore, and probably most importantly, they are going to harm their group servies by offering family law services. No one is going to shop at or bank with the coop if they have taken their kids away, neither are their family or friends. So for every £200 fixed fee divorce or £300 hearing to decide access to their children, they will lose many times that amount by offending the opposing party.
    It's a self-defeating business model from a business that has grown far too fast. Their outgoing CEO said it could have been the next Woolworths but for a restructure, well it's now many, many times the size of Woolworths and much more dysfunctional as far as I can make out.

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  • The Co-op have a completely different business model to that operated by most people posting here. They can afford to make small profits on streamlined processes that they are developing using highly experienced litigators. The world in which we live in, changed irrevocably with the recession, and the sooner the legal profession realises it, the sooner they can start marshalling a better defence against ABS's than sneering. Proper understanding of the elements of a case, coupled with a rigorous review of the process, allocating the most cost effective resource to the individual tasks, responding to client needs with far more transparency, these would be better responses than those posted so far. "The times they are a changing."

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