A new network of more than 100 practices has been set up in an attempt to match the power of major law firms.

The scheme's founders claim around 130 firms from across the West Midlands have joined Hub.Legal to share expertise and gain group purchasing power for office supplies, training and compliance support.

The network is operated by Midlands firm FBC Manby Bowdler and initial membership is free.

Hub.Legal head James Knight (pictured) said the firm aims to be the ‘department next door’ for colleagues in the region.

‘It’s a great example of very positive collaboration with members who really want to make a difference to their practice,’ he said.

The network will shortly expand with the introduction of ‘hands-on’ advisory services such as day-to-day Solicitors Regulation Authority compliance, Lexcel, solicitors’ accounts, practice management support and business development.

The cost of these services to members will be subsidised with grants to qualifying firms from the government’s growth accelerator scheme.

The majority of the firms signed up are based in Birmingham, but the network reaches out to Shropshire, Staffordshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

Gurpreet Bhatia, partner at member firm Harbans Singh & Co, said the arrangement means it can help more clients without having to refer them elsewhere.

‘When our clients need support in any area of law we want to be in a position to say “yes”,’ he said.

‘It’s a hugely positive thing for the legal profession across this region to be working in such a collaborative way and it is in the interests of firms and their clients alike.’