One of the longest-serving members of the QualitySolicitors network has announced plans to go it alone.

Midlands firm Talbots will leave the QS brand in May to end a five-year association.

The firm, which employs 184 people, said it has £1m to invest in innovations and expanding its residential property, business services and trusts and estates teams.

QS has seen several member firms leave in recent years, although losses have been reduced from two years ago.

Talbots director Mary Mocklow (pictured) said: ‘We believe our future is best served by deepening these local roots, rather than focusing some of our efforts towards being part of a national brand like QualitySolicitors.

‘It was a tough decision to make as we’ve had some really good years with them. As a standalone business we are free to innovate and launch exciting new products and services at a pace that suits us and, importantly, adds even more benefits to our clients.’

Back-office support such as marketing and IT, which are provided through being members of the network, are now done in-house as the firm has grown in recent years.

The firm currently operates from seven offices in the Black Country, Staffordshire and Worcestershire and is targeting £10m revenue from annual fees in 2016.

The firm said the investment comes from retained profit, and the money will be spent on upgrading technology and finding larger premises in Kidderminster and Stourbridge. The firm will also move to a larger office in Wolverhampton next month and is considering expanding into more sites.

QS was founded in 2008 by Craig Holt and Saleem Arif. Both have since left for new projects.

The company enlisted more than 100 firms to sign up to join its network, buoyed by a tie-in with retail giant WH Smith. That link was severed after two years in 2013.

Last year, chief executive Eddie Ross admitted that the network had grown too quickly and confirmed member numbers had reduced from 120 to 100.

In the 15-month period ended 31 March 2015 the company posted an operating loss of £2.3m, down from £3.6m in calendar 2013.

Topics