25 Nov QualitySolicitors calls end to grand scheme with ‘boring’ vision
QualitySolicitors has admitted defeat in its plan to establish the network as the first ‘household name’ legal brand.
This week’s pledge to offer a ‘boring’ package, as reported in the Law Society Gazette, that will allow member firms to decide how closely they wish to publicly associate with the brand shows an opportune scheme has finally lost belief in itself.
It is so different to when Craig Holt had the confidence and guts to recognise an opportunity caused by the fear of the so-called Tesco law, otherwise known as the Legal Services Act 2007.
It was a masterstroke for anxious law firms worried that the slick marketers coming into the newly opened law arena would change the whole landscape.
We at Nolan PR saw the moves far closer than most working with some firms who had bought into the QS vision.
Basically, it was throwing money at some expensive and ill-conceived ideas, like the scheme of offering legal advice from WH Smith.
As one partner in a somewhat tough Midlands town said to us: “They don’t know much about this area. The only people using WH Smith here go in to steal cigarettes.”
He was right. The one size fits all approach would never work. Every firm has its own identity and different client base and offering. After all, what’s good for Richmond isn’t necessarily good for Rotherham.
In time we at Nolan PR started working even closer with another couple of firms under the QS brand, one who soon after starting work with us called time on QS asking us to create a new website, branding and help reposition them in the community they felt their marketing approaches under QS were taking them away from.
Of course, being a Public Relations firm that focus primarily on legal PR, we have met up with many practice senior management teams, both in and out of QS, and nearly all of them have a Marmite opinion on the brand’s impact.
So now Ben Greco, the chief executive has said the franchise model that the founders had sought to build was no longer in operation.
According to the Law Society Gazette, he said the network will offer a more ‘boring’ package to its 100 law firm members, which includes winning contracts with clients who want to work with local firms.
Perhaps, they can now mature and really offer value with collective bargaining power for members. It seems they are learning like all businesses do, but that’s precious little comfort for those who feel hurt and out of pocket by being sold a dream that never really took off.
It’s been a very expensive learning curve.