Shoosmiths launches new brand, Access Legal, to bring together more than 100 legal services for consumers.
Partner and head of consumer services at Shoosmiths, Judith Dorkins, said: “Consumers lack easy and reassuring access to legal services and advice. 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.”
The new Access Legal website also brings all of the Shoosmiths’ services, whether it is helping people buy a house or advising on a £multi-million corporate deal, 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 standalone brand that’s accessible and friendly, yet highly professional, and which has over 150 years’ history and experience to back it up.”
Access Legal from Shoosmiths is for people who take responsibility for their lives, and who recognise the value of specialist professional advice.
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.”
Access Legal 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 – Shoosmiths’ aim is to earn and retain that loyalty. Ultimately, Shoosmiths wants 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 the new website which was 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.”