Financial services and holiday provider Saga said today it had identified a gap in the legal services market for the over-50s as it announced it had been granted an alternative business structure licence by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
Saga Law, a joint venture between Saga and Parabis Law LLP, will begin trading in 2014.
Parabis, which describes itself as an end-to-end legal and professional services organisation, has provided Saga branded legal services in England and Wales for the past 10 years. The creation of Saga Law will give Saga scope to provide a wider range of legal services under the one firm in the future, the company said. It will initially offer the existing Saga legal services of conveyancing, wills and probate and lasting powers of attorney.
According to a statement Saga’s entry into the market was ‘driven by the pressing need to make legal services more focused on the needs of customers’. It quotes a survey of 9,229 people over the age of 50 which identified concerns about ‘spiralling solicitors bills, being bamboozled by jargon and poor value for money’.
The company said it had ‘listened to the concerns the over-50s have with legal services and aims to fill a gap in the market for the provision of a range of legal services based on value, certainty of cost, accessibility and excellence in customer service’.
Roger Ramsden, chief executive, Saga Services, told the Gazette that the Saga name ’is likely to make customers feel more confident’.
He said that: ‘A shake up to legal services is long overdue. Currently the market appears to be stacked in favour of the provider rather than the consumer. We aim to change things so we have created a legal service with customers in mind not the convenience of lawyers. The granting of a licence to Saga Law is a further step along the path of Saga revolutionising legal services in the UK.’
He added: ‘People want legal advice and products at a price they understand, can afford and that is agreed in advance. They want a clearer idea of what it is they are paying for; legal issues are complicated and the jargon used by the industry prevents many people from understanding the process.
‘Finally, they want a decent service, all too often customers have to chase solicitors for action and updates and this shouldn’t be the case. It is our intention to address those needs and to make legal services more accessible and affordable to a great many more people.’