Shoosmiths eyes financial services

Shoosmiths & Harrison is calculating that loss of confidence in the financial services industry will boost its business.

The regional firm has broken the legal mould and set up its own financial services arm. It can now advise private clients and companies on all major aspects of finance.

Keith Halford has been recruited from Eversheds to lead the new department.

A registered insurance broker, he is one of 230 individuals in England authorised by the Law Society as a qualified person to provide financial advice. He said: “The service allows us to give clients quality advice in-house.

“Things like the pension transfer fiasco and Barings mean that people are quite wary of the financial services industry. They also see the industry contracting. It can be difficult for them to know where to go to get financial advice.”

The firm hopes to capitalise on this situation. Partner Trevor George, who helped set up the service, said: “We offer the comfort of our reputation as well as independent expert advice.”

Halford believes this pragmatic approach is the way ahead for law firms. He sees it as an effective countermeasure to the threat of losing clients through deregulation.