A Leicestershire firm is parting company with the QualitySolicitors network over what it says are differing views about the future of the organisation.
Paul Tubb, senior solicitor at QualitySolicitors Mander Cruickshank in Coalville, told the Gazette that the firm has decided to pull the funding it was paying to the national network and refocus it on local causes. The firm is expected to leave the network by the end of the year.
Its decision to go it alone is the latest in a line of departures from QS. Other firms who have left include Abney Garsden, Clapham & Collinge, Garratts and Fisher Jones Greenwood.
Mander Cruickshank has kicked off its redefined strategy by signing an agreement to become the main stadium sponsor of Coalville Town football club’s Owen Street ground.
Mander Cruickshank joined the QS network in 2013. Tubb said the firm ‘embraced membership of QS and welcomed the positive changes’. However, the firm decided to leave the network following meetings with QS managers ‘about where they are taking the organisation’.
Being part of the network originally enabled the firm to change its processes and provide the ‘best quality service’ to clients, Tubb said. This included ensuring the client did not misunderstand the service they were receiving, and making sure the firm was accessible beyond traditional opening hours.
Tubb said: ‘Over the past six-12 months we have seen that importance is no longer being pushed by the brand in a way we felt was important to us. It’s more [for instance] changing to how they can bring in more people to the website… and making the website more attractive rather than what we’re doing on a day-to-day basis for our clients.’
Tubb stressed that Mander Cruickshank has enjoyed a ‘good’ relationship with QS, but that the firm wanted to refocus resources ‘into local things that can benefit the community… rather than on QS to take an ad out on TV’.
Mander Cruickshank joined the QS network three years ago. Tubb said the firm perceived having a national brand ‘would provide us with an additional security against other large organisations. But the market is different from what it was – strong ties with local communities are far more important than a national brand image’.
Under the sponsorship deal, Coalville Town's ground will be known as the Mander Cruickshank Solicitors Stadium from 1 December. The firm will be offering club players and staff a ‘loyalty scheme’ from next year, giving them access to discounted legal advice.
In an announcement on the club’s website, Coalville Town chairman Glyn Rennocks said: ‘We are delighted that Mander Cruickshank Solicitors have agreed to become a partner of the club and to attract one of the town’s most well-known businesses is very pleasing.’
A spokesperson for QualitySolicitors told the Gazette: 'Over the last six months, QualitySolicitors has been in consultation with its membership to set out and agree the future direction of the network.
'We are very excited about where the network is going, with new initiatives already launched and bringing benefit, and many more to come, all put in place to deliver more value to the firms we work with.
'Of course, with such a large and diverse group of legal firms, not all change will suit every individual business. However we have a growing pipeline of new firms contacting us regularly to talk about future participation and feel we have a growing understanding of the sort of firms that QualitySolicitors can really benefit.
'We wish Mander Cruickshank all the very best for the future with their own strategy.'