The consumer and trade brief will see Octopus promote QualitySolicitors' exclusive retail partnership with WHSmith.
From 1 August QualitySolicitors will have Legal Access Points (LAPs) in 130 branches of WHSmith with trained legal professionals on hand to offer legal advice while customers pick up their daily newspaper.
The moves comes ahead of the Legal Services Act, which comes into force from October, regulating the UK legal market by allowing non-law firms to offer legal services. The act, which has been nicknamed ‘Tesco Law’, aims to make legal services easier for consumers. The Co-operative Group, Saga and the AA have all reported interest in offering legal services.
QualitySolicitors chief executive, Craig Holt, said: ‘We hope to provide legal services without the perceived negatives – accessible, consumer-friendly legal services – with the actual legal work being done by expert, leading local law firms and not unqualified staff in a remote call centre. We want to take away the difficult, confusing and often intimidating feelings associated with getting legal advice.’
The Legal Access Points will be staffed by the local QualitySolicitors firm in each location and will provide easy access to legal services for consumers. LAP iPad apps will be used to allow staff to book appointments, provide conveyancing quotes, sell wills packages and fixed-fee advice sessions. There will also be a Tesco Clubcard-type loyalty card scheme.
Holt added: ‘We’re hoping the collaboration with WHSmith will fast-forward us to ‘household name’ status years ahead of target. We aim to dominate the UK private client/SME market and communicate, through Octopus, that consumers should make the QualitySolicitors LAPs at their local WHSmith the first port of call for their legal services needs.’