The Co-operative Legal Services to enter family law market

I have received the following press release:


The Co-operative Legal Services (CLS), which is at the forefront of the radical changes taking place in the delivery of consumer legal services, today (3 November) announced it is to enter the family law market.

CLS has been joined by three leading family lawyers from London-based law firm T V Edwards LLP - Jenny Beck, Managing Partner; Christina Blacklaws, Partner and Chris May, Head of Business Development and Strategy.

Each has huge experience in developing innovative legal practice. Jenny is managing partner of TV Edwards which has grown to one of the largest legal aid providers in the country under her stewardship. Chris May has developed large scale commoditised conveyancing practices and Christina Blacklaws is responsible for developing and adapting a consultancy model to family and civil practice.

Both Christina and Jenny have national representative roles. Christina is on the Law Society Council and chair of its Legal Affairs and Policy Board. Jenny is co-chair of the Legal Aid Practitioners Group.

Jenny Beck said: “The Co-operative’s socially responsible and ethical approach is totally aligned with our own and we are delighted to have this opportunity to bring their shared values and principles to the practice of family law. The Co-operative is a trusted brand and will be a trusted adviser. In doing so, we will aim to secure access to justice for all at a time when public funded services are contracting”

Christina Blacklaws said “We are delighted to be able to develop a family law service which will be both innovative and pioneering and which will address current unmet legal need. These are challenging times for both society and the legal profession, and our new range of services will address the very real need which exists as well as reaching out to those who do not currently access family legal services.”

Chris May said “Our team brings huge experience in delivering solutions to complex issues which go to the very heart of people’s lives. Our approach will be to deliver these in a fair and equitable way whilst also providing opportunities for young lawyers who can develop their own careers as well as being open to experienced practitioners whose skills will be required to provide the more complex and demanding areas of work.“

The three will develop the family law service as CLS prepares to be an ABS should it be successful in obtaining a licence from the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Eddie Ryan, Managing Director of CLS, said: “We are working extremely hard with the Solicitors Regulation Authority in preparation for the introduction of ABS’s and we look forward to being able to provide a full range of legal services to our members and customers. I am delighted to welcome Jenny, Christina and Chris into The Co-operative to spearhead our future family law services.”

Martyn Wates, Deputy Group Chief Executive of The Co-operative Group, said: “The Legal Services Act will change the way in which legal services are delivered in England and Wales.

“We believe that the presence of The Co-operative’s trusted brand and values in the market place, together with a combination of first class products and services, will provide customers with greater accessibility to legal advice and better value for money.”