Co-op ABS plans to create thousands of legal jobs

The Co-operative Group has unveiled plans to create 3,000 jobs in the legal sector as it aims to revolutionise how legal services are delivered on the high street.

The SRA approved the group’s plans to convert Cooperative Legal Services (CLS) to an alternative business structure in March (28 March 2012).

Today, the company said it would radically increase its staff base from 450 to 3,000 as it expands over the next five years, building five regional hubs around the country.

The group is also planning to extend its current trial of legal services and funeral planning services through 30 branches of the Co-operative Bank and Britannia to encompass all 330 high street branches.

 The CLS family practice, the company added, would open in London later this year.

“Over the next five years we want to fundamentally change the face of legal services and make access far easier – today’s announcement underlines that ambition,” group chief executive Peter Marks said.

He continued: “It is envisaged that about 90 per cent of the roles being created will be actual legal functions, with 10 per cent made up of support staff.

“We are particularly keen to use our expansion as a way to offer opportunities to young people. Legal apprenticeships and opportunities for study leave will form an important part of this major employment opportunity.”