Banking giant Halifax has joined the revolution in the legal services market by launching a division designed to offer customers cheap legal advice on everyday matters.
Halifax Legal Solutions was launched on Saturday (28 October) and builds on last year’s launch of a service which puts the bank’s customers in touch with conveyancers.
Joel Ripley, head of Halifax Legal Solutions, told The Lawyer: “At the time we launched that we said we’d extend our services. Our approach to the market is characterised by a partnership approach.”
Halifax is working together with HammondsDirect, the volume conveyancing service which used to be owned by Hammonds, as well as advice service FirstAssist which employs solicitors and barristers.
Customers will pay an annual fee to access the services, which include advice on will writing, conveyancing and power of attorney.
Ripley said that Halifax would continue to focus on a partnership-based scheme for the time being, although he added the bank was watching the progress of the Legal Services Bill which is expected to allow lawyers to practice in “alternative business structures”.
“This is not about us muscling in, this is about working in partnership with solicitors,” he said.
The move was criticised by the Law Society, which warned that clients should see their solicitor for complex cases.