One of the longest-established members of the QualitySolicitors network has left the group.

Kent firm Martin Tolhurst Solicitors, which has been a member of the network for six years, said it wants to concentrate on regional marketing rather than being a part of a national business.

The firm is the latest in a string of QualitySolicitors members to leave the network, but the company has said it continues to be confident in its new model and accepts some practices may see their future away from the brand.

Martin Tolhurst managing partner Richard Carter said the firm has recently invested £500,000 in IT systems and felt this was the right time to end its association with QualitySolicitors.

‘When considering our business plan for 2017-2020 the firm wants to focus on expanding our family law department, private client, litigation and commercial work,' said Carter.

‘Over the last six months we have undergone a substantial review of our business and felt that we should focus more on local and regional marketing instead of being part of a national brand.

‘We are celebrating 130 years of trading in Kent over the next 12 months and we looked at our strengths – our local name and brand was a key part of our identity for our clients.’

The firm, which has six offices, will now start advertising its new identity through digital media marketing and traditional methods of billboards, brochures and radio adverts.

QualitySolicitors has stressed its new business plan, which involves ditching high-profile advertising campaigns and securing benefits for the network, will include marketing for new firms to join.

Nick Howitt, QualitySolicitors network director, added: ‘With a revised model bringing new benefits to our members, we now have new firms joining us and lots more interest in where the network is going.

‘We continue to recognise that law firms are diverse, and our past, current and future model will not suit every business. As a valued longstanding member and supporter of QualitySolicitors, we wish Martin Tolhurst all the very best with their expansion plans and regional focus.’