Co-op prepares to launch post-Clementi law firm

The Co-operative Group is to become the first non-legal organisation to take advantage of forthcoming reforms by launching legal services for its members.

The Co-op is bringing on board former RAC Legal Services managing director Eddie Ryan to run the new venture.

It will offer services such as conveyancing, will writing, probate and accident management services to Co-op members along with claims management support for the Co-op’s insurance customers.

Initially the Co-op will work with panels of law firms, but it is understood that if legislation permits, the group is likely to bring lawyers in-house.

The government is planning to introduce a legal services reform bill later this year, following its white paper last October. The white paper was based on recommendations drawn up by Sir David Clementi in his review of legal services regulation.

Ryan and other senior RAC Legal Services staff, including legal services head Jonathan Gulliford, left the organisation following Aviva’s takeover of the RAC a year ago.

Co-op Legal Services will be based in Bristol and will employ around 150 people.