First4Lawyers has announced a major expansion of its business model beyond personal injury.
The marketing service is to now offer solicitors a route into employment, property, wills, finance, family and driving law as it looks to become the number one legal services provider in the UK.
The announcement coincides with the launch of a major new TV and online advertising campaign which is once again being spearheaded by the TV presenter and former tennis player Andrew Castle.
A call centre of 38 staff working seven days a week has been set up to manage the expected new work streams. New legal instructions will initially be handled by a limited number of its existing panel firms while First4Lawyers opens an application process for firms that want to join dedicated panels in each area.
Managing director Qamar Anwar (pictured) said that First4Lawyers’ expansion was based on research suggesting that 59% of consumers prefer to contact a recognised and well-known brand for legal advice rather than settling for an unknown solicitor.
“Our client feedback shows that consumers are confused as to what lawyers provide and the different specialisms,” he said.
“The familiarity of our brand – which, unlike others in the market, is not tied to personal injury – reassures consumers that we can find them the best person to handle their work.
Anwar added that the move into different areas of the law had come at a time when both the biggest law firms and new entrants were targeting potential clients more than ever before through traditional and web advertising.
“These businesses need market share to keep on growing, and we believe that joining a collective is realistically the only way to compete with them,” he said.