Big Brands are coming – it’s about to get tougher for big and small firms

Big Brands are coming – it’s about to get tougher for big and small firms

By Andrew Neill

With the recent sad news of the difficulties at the Co-Op group, perhaps the rise of Co-Op Legal Services will be curtailed. It feels, however, that the industry has finally reached a genuine “Tesco Law” situation where mass-market, highly branded suppliers of legal services are ready to out-compete the small, independent high-street law firms – and there’s no Mary Portas in the wings, promising to rejuvenate those high-street firms.

The truth is that the Co-Operative – like Quality Solicitors and Slater & Gordon and others – have recognised that there is big business in providing a promise to customers that they are the right people to speak to when legal advice is needed. It doesn’t really matter if they don’t have the local knowledge and expertise that your local mom-and-pop lawyers have. These big businesses have something that will win most fights (for customers) before they’ve even started: a brand. A brand is a promise to customers, and theirs are out there fighting for potential clients on TV screens, magazines and online.

The same is happening in the plumbing market (not always the most obvious analogy for lawyers). Family plumbers and smal

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About the author:

Andrew Neill is Global Programme Manager at Withersworldwide. He has a background in technical consultancy, with experience in programme portfolio management, scoping, running tenders, and architecting global solutions.