The Co-operative Group is to create 3,000 new jobs in its legal services division throughout the whole of England in the next five years.
The firm plans to open five regional commercial properties throughout England which will act as the main hubs for the expansion. The hubs will be located in the North East, North West, The Midlands, South East and South West. The roles will be across many divisions including legal support, Information Technology and Human Resources.
Currently the Group’s legal service is based in a commercial property in Bristol and employs only 450 people. Services currently offered by the firm are quite limited, but with the expansion plans, the firm will be able to expand its legal services to will-writing personal injury claims and family law for example.
Speaking of the expansion in legal services, Peter Marks, CEO, stated: “We intend to be totally consumer focussed and will help customers navigate the legal world so that they are much more comfortable with the experience and outcomes.
“Our ambition is to provide a service that will stop people feeling daunted by the prospect of having to work with a solicitor.”
The Group also plans to role out its new legal services to its 330 commercial property high street bank branches. This would have not been possible a few years ago, as the Legal Services Act 2007 only allowed Solicitors to offer legal services. But the new piece of legislation which came into effect last year, now allows any major brand to offer legal services.
Speaking of the legislation change to the Legal Services Act, Jonathan Djanogly, the Justice Minister, said: “Our legal services are already rated among the best in the world, used by millions of people around the globe as well as in the UK, and these changes will set them up to move to new heights. They will enable firms to set up multi-disciplinary practices and provide opportunities for growth.
“Potential customers will find legal services become more accessible, more efficient and more competitive.”