One of the founder members of the QualitySolicitors network is leaving the group in order to ‘reinstate its identity’.

Yorkshire firm Burns and Company was part of the original cohort when QS was founded amid a blaze of publicity in 2010 but will become independent from 1 April.

The firm, with offices in York and Easingwold, said it had joined the network to improve its operation but was now keen to promote links with its local community.

Director Graeme Burn said: ‘We’ve gained much from joining the QS network – improving our processes and becoming more accessible to people requiring legal services.

‘However, the time feels right to go back to our roots and our core values.’

The change involves removing all QS branding and replacing with a new firm logo, but managers say clients will not notice a difference in service.

The firm was keen to stress it was grateful to the network for the advantages that being part of the larger collective had brought.

Managing director Claire Rutter added: ‘The firm became accessible beyond traditional opening hours and our support personnel were trained as part of a first contact team, to assist and give enhanced guidance for both existing and potential clients.

‘QS also provided us with publicity on a national level and enabled potential clients to find us more easily, especially online.’

Several former members of the QS network have publicised their exit in recent years, although the company says its business model does not depend on large numbers staying.

Its new chief executive said last November the business was on a sound financial footing and working on contracts for bulk-buying key services such as indemnity insurance for members.

Ben Greco said the QS business would not explicitly offer ‘affiliate’ status, but is likely to give firms two options for how much they wanted to absorb the QS brand.