QualitySolicitors sets sights on UK domination with private equity injection

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  • I choose my solicitor on the basis of who Amanda Holden and Stacy Solomon recommends.
    For this reason Quality Solcitors are my bag.

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  • You only have to look at the "quaility" of their London practices to see how poorly represeneted they are in the capital!

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  • Not just London. You should see their Manchester firms. Never heard of them until I did a search.
    The only consumers who will use them are ones with no money so it's difficult to see where the profits are going to come from with the cuts in legal aid and what with everyone being skint 'n all! It's going to mean endless clients walking in carrying plastic bags full of paperwork about how they were overcharged on their mobile phone bill (shudders).
    Those private clients with money to spend on legal services will be laughed out of their golf clubs if they use a QS firm.

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  • According to the website there's no Quality Solicitors in Newcastle.
    That's despite the (very strong) rumours that some of the bigger Newcastle firms have been negotiating to join (and giving the gladeye to the kiosk in WHSmith).

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  • It's a huge mistake to use the word `Quality' in the name.
    If you have to tell the world you're a `quality' outfit the implication is that they wouldn't otherwise have realised.
    It's a bit like a car dealer called `Honest Fred'.
    And from personal experience the firms carrying this brand that I've so far dealt with have been noticeably less efficient than their unbranded counterparts.
    I suspect many of the firms who are signing up are fairly desperate for work, and this is their last throw of the dice before they have to close the doors.

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  • One can be snobby all they like, but let's be honest 95% of work done by the regional law firms could be done through volume workhouses with one 5 yr PQE solicitor to 10 paralegals (& some precedents written by a magic circle firm).
    Frankly nobody is impressed at the local golf club by name dropping a regional law firm into conversation. It may as well be Quality Solicitors. The argument that law firms are so super intellectual that their work can't be made into a cheaper commodity only works for the biggest 20 firms and a few boutiques.
    *starts playing jaws music*

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  • So many commercial lawyers have turned the nose up at this move but QS and Craig Holt must be commended for showing some business nous.
    Mr Holt started this business 2/3 years ago while still practising as a barrister. He had effectively offered a lifeline to hundreds of firms suffering with cuts in legal aid, lower legal fees and higher insurance premiums and whopping rents. Anybody who can find a new route to market - albeit through WHSmith- is to be congratulated. As for the City lawyers questioning the quality- sare I ask what quality they offer legal consumers from the high street? There is a massive market out there demanding decent legal advice at a rate which doesn't require a trip to the bank for a loan. Even £150 an hour is ludicrous for somebody on an average wage. We don't all earn six figure sums so perhaps its time for the City to start learning about the real world - even if they don't live in it.

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  • Quality Solicitors stated about 10 months ago that they were in talks with 3 top 100 firms.
    If these join then the stigma of Quality Solicitors will disappear. I could hazard a guess at the names of the 3 firms... They're very likely to be large regional firms that have had to make redundancies and need to pay rent upon expensive offices. They'll take a hit on status just to avoid doing a Halliwells.

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  • Last year Dickinson Dees and a couple of other top 100 firms denied being one of the firms in negotiation with Quality Solicitors.
    I wonder if they would so quick to rule out joining Quality Solicitors now?
    It now looks quite an attractive package for them. They could have a guaranteed pipeline of work, a big cash injection, publicity in every WHSmith and be seen as the leading firm in the Quality Solicitors network

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  • My perception is a that there are a few very worried solicitors commenting here, trying to do down Quality Solicitors.
    Well, I'm city qualified, I'm now a corporate head of legal and I gave them a spin for a personal case I am bringing. I hated the name and had I reservations.
    But I'm delighted with them.
    Like I say, based on my experience of them, those who are worried should be. People like me will be giving them commercial work soon too at this rate.
    I suggest others focus less on berating them and more on adapting for them. It is only you who will suffer adverse consequences should you not heed the warning.

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  • Partners should be worried. If QS achieves 1,200 offices then they will be an enormous force.
    Imagine if Quality Solicitors step outside of just offering consumer support and start competing for public sector contracts or corporate services.
    If Quality Solicitors start offering the work for 25% less, then some big law firms will fall.

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  • The cries from the naysayers regarding the potential for QS and similar outfits to succeed in an increasingly liberalised legal service sector are in my view being uttered by folks who don't really appreciate marketplace realities. For example:
    (a) High street "footfall" has fallen and so have operating profits at local practices. Shopping malls, multi-functional supermarkets and the internet have replaced the hight street as the main source of goods and services. At the same time, there is still considerable unmet consumer demand for (quality) legal services.
    (b) Persistently high unemployment will help to drive growth in the number of SMEs in the mid-term which in turn will increase the need for legal advice in different areas during the lifecycle of their ventures.
    I applaud efforts by QS and others to help drive sector growth and refresh the consumer/SME experience.

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  • I buy in legal services. I'm likely to instruct Quality Solicitors in the future.
    I currently use firms just outside the top 25. However the work I get isn't worth the large cheques I send. Most of the time the partners are just bluffing that they understand my industry. I end up moving the document away from the precedent they're so eager to stick to.
    I may as well go for the cheaper option. It'll mean that the partners at the firms I instruct probably won't be able to put up expensive advertising at every station I visit or splash out on another fast car, but they'll surely cope.

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  • Am I being too cynical in wondering if some of the pro-QS posts are from QS firms ...?
    I fully accept that many legal processes can be commoditised, but it won't be QS who pick up this work, it will be the big institutions like the banks and insurers who will carry out the work at a loss in order to capture a docile and receptive market for their crappy products.
    I, and I supect many other small firms, offer a service to my clients that is personal. My clients are generally affluent, and are more than happy tp pay a high rate for the work. They prefer quality to cheapness.
    They won't consider going to some franchise operation provided I carry on giving them the service they want.
    And the chances of any top 100 firm wanting to be associated with a chavvy High Street image must be miniscule - or if they do they must be desperate.

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  • Another thread of "anonymous" comments (except one) from people in the legal sector. Love 'em or hate 'em QS have shaken up the legal sector like no-one before them and the PE injection can do nothing but help their cause.
    Anyone want to take a bet on how long before they start "buying up" the member firms?
    Regs....David.

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  • having closely looked at their list of firms it really is a very poor bunch. Go to any of the major cities and you will not recognise any of these names.
    it strikes me that these companies are the most likely to have come under severe pressure and need Quality more than anything else!
    Craig Holt has to be applauded for "convincing" such a mottley crew to join his band but I seriously doubt they will stay the course and be able to convert the "leads" from WH Smith (if there any worthwhile ones?) into long term business.

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  • Dave Gilroy... I applaud your ability to write your name in your posts. I would admire you even more if you read the other posts before commenting upon them. The vast majority are agreeing that QS will shake up the legal profession!

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  • I loaned money to a very small law firm in Hoylake - I was never fully repaid.
    They now have the QS logo all over their website but confusingly do not appear on the QS site when I search for solicitors in Hoylake.
    I wonder how many QS solicitors are either not being promoted or have left the scheme

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  • Spencer - you don't "loan" money , you lend it. Your English is terrible.

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  • I agree with anonymous. Er, the one of 11.40 on 21 Oct.
    There is a huge market of uneducated potential clients out there. Look at the PI case of the last few years. Many claims brought because punters realised they COULD claim. Forget your prejudices if you have any of PI - the facts remain.
    QS has the right idea building a brand. Whether they have the right idea when it comes to handling the leads - well the jury is out. But there is no inevitability about low quality of service.
    Knocking these new legal 'brands' is a King Canute attitude. Do your SWOT analysis with objective consultancy and then decide whether your firm and its fees are so secure. Maybe the are, but at least one will be more confident then in one's criticism.

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