Co-op names seven-firm advisory panel

Co-operative Legal Services has selected seven firms to make up its first legal panel, five months after the Co-operative Group launched its dedicated legal division.

The seven firms will initially carry out legal expenses insurance work in motor and household claims, but the panel is likely to expand practices such as property, private client and family law as the Co-op takes advantage of the new regulatory environment proposed in the Legal Services Bill.

The successful firms, each assigned to a region, are: Clarke Willmott (Bristol), Pannone (Manchester), Blake Lapthorn Linnell (Portsmouth), Loosemores (Cardiff), Gray Hooper Holt (Redhill), Colemans-ctts (Kingston-upon-Thames) and HBJ Gateley Wareing (Glasgow and Edinburgh).

Operations director Jonathan Gulliford said the firms had all been part of the RAC Legal Services panel. Gulliford and Co-op Legal Services managing director Eddie Ryan left the RAC after it was taken over by Aviva in 2005.

Gulliford said: “We’ve worked with them before. We know the level of service they can offer.”