Pannone is set to launch a white-label division to capitalise on the new opportunities that will arise when the Legal Services Act (LSA) comes into full force.
Affinity Solutions will launch on 1 May and will partner with companies from a number of industries including retailers, financial services, utilities and insurers to offer their customers own-label legal services.
Pannone’s travel litigation head Andrew Morton heads the 85-strong Affinity team, which is made up mostly of paralegals and will provide a range of legal services including employment advice, consumer disputes, fast-track injury claims, conveyancing and remortgaging.
“It’s a problem a lot of law firms face, being approached by organisations that want to provide legal services to an existing customer base,” said Morton. “So we’ve set this team up so all the work, which covers many different departments, is done under one roof.
“It’s the high-volume low-value work that people want done, and we’ll be teaming up with companies in the retail and banking sectors, and any other organisations with a large customer base.”
The LSA comes into full force in October 2011 and will allow non-law firms to provide legal services to customers. High street banks, insurers and retailers have signalled an intention to launch into the market. Affinity has already signed a deal with a major multiple retailer and is in talks with others.
“A number of these new entrants to the marketplace know how to provide excellent service to their existing customers while arguably many in the legal sector do not,” said Morton. “So an organisation that places as much emphasis on good service as well as providing excellent legal advice has to be of benefit to the consumer.”
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