Hammond Suddards is launching a national online legal service, called HammondsDirect, which will be run from the Bradford office, in a bid to attract more clients and to generate further business for the firm.
The service will provide online and telephone legal support outside working hours for clients in an attempt to replicate the services offered by financial service clients such as Halifax, Bradford & Bingley, Prudential Banking and Egg.
It will offer legal support to lenders and financial institutions in the conveyancing sector, including sale and purchase for home movers, first time buyers and mortgages.
HammondsDirect will be a division of Hammond Suddards and will be run by partner Lucci Dammone as the chief executive of the operation. He will be assisted by one other partner and 280 support staff.
Lucci Dammone says: "Rebranding is a costly exercise, but it does provide genuine identity. The underpinning rationale is the benefit for clients. We are doing something different and sticking our head above the parapet."
Dammone says: "We expect to attract new business and inevitably this means other law firms will lose out. I wouldn't be surprised if we were copied providing we are successful ."
John Heller, senior partner says: "The launch of HammondsDirect is a key part of our expansion plan. Heller says the technology developed for this project will provide the level of service that institutional lending clients require.
Dammone highlights the benefits of the HammondsDirect launch as eliminating delays in slow moving transactions, providing faster loan draw down and carrying the responsibility for the client's brand.
Andrew Chappell, partner at the Bradford office at Dibb Lupton Alsop, says: "The move is interesting, but at the moment we are not looking to brand separately."
However, one source comments: "This is just another factorisation of the law process, it has been happening in the debt collection process for some time."