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Shoosmiths launches new consumer brand

by Access Legal Solicitors

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Access Legal Solicitors from Shoosmiths brings together more than 100 legal services for consumers, from buying and selling a house, to injury claims and writing a will.

They have been grouped under seven headings:

Consumer work accounts for approximately 20% of the firm's turnover, with just over 300 staff based across four of the firm's eight offices. Access Legal Solicitors from Shoosmiths is part of the partnership and is not a separate legal entity.

Head of consumer services Judith Dorkins said: "Consumers lack easy and reassuring access to legal advice and services. The consumer legal market is fragmented and without a leading legal brand, leaving it open to new entrants as a result of the Legal Services Act. We recognised an opportunity in that we were ideally placed to put our stake in the ground as the professional law firm that wants to attain a share of this 'new' market.

"We already had the expertise, track record and infrastructure in place, but what we hadn't fully refined was our customer care and the integration of our core conveyancing; wills, family and wealth; and personal injury services into a complete product range.

"Another compelling reason for developing Access Legal Solicitors from Shoosmiths is that everything we've done – whether helping people buy a house or advising on a £multi-million corporate deal – has come under the Shoosmiths name.

"Marketing to consumers and to commercial clients requires different approaches, and we felt the time was right to wrap up our distinct consumer services in a stand alone brand that's accessible and friendly, yet highly professional, and which has over 150 years' history and experience to back it up.

"Access Legal Solicitors from Shoosmiths is for people who take responsibility for their lives, and who recognise the value of specialist professional advice. Our pricing is competitive, but we will not be the cheapest and we have no desire to compete with a DIY law kit which can be purchased from a retailer."

"Marketing to consumers and commercial clients requires different approaches, and the time was right to wrap up our distinct consumer services in a brand that's accessible and friendly, and with over 150 years' history and experience to back it up."
Judith Dorkins,
Head of Access Legal Solicitors

The new logo for the brand has been created by Shoosmiths' in-house design team and the typeface reflects both the modern and traditional elements of the new services, whilst retaining the Shoosmiths blue.

Dorkins said: "Our research amongst consumers identified that they wanted the reassurance of a law firm but with modern service delivery which fitted around their busy lives, so our helpline will be operational seven days a week. Research also revealed that very few law firms were providing added value to clients in terms of staying in touch and providing relevant and timely information.

"This is a fundamental move away from the old fashioned lawyers' view of the client as a 'transaction' and a move to recognise that people have legal needs throughout their life – our aim is to earn and retain that loyalty.  Ultimately, we want to provide consumers with the solutions to their complete lifetime legal needs."

Shoosmiths' commercial and consumer operations complement each other because some of the firm's larger commercial clients offer their employees discounted legal services as part of a benefits package.

Crucial to the brand's success will be a new website - www.access-legal.co.uk - developed by Shoosmiths' in-house IT and creative teams.

Dorkins said: "Internally, people see the sense in doing this because we're making our service offering clearer with separate websites and brands for our different stakeholders, whether they are commercial organisations, consumers, or our own employees."

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