Saga: soon to provide a range of legal services
Saga – which provides holidays, financial and care services to those older than 50 – announced yesterday that it has applied for an alternative business structure licence. Local media reports say the company will target its 8 million-plus database for a range of legal offerings, including wills, probate and residential conveyancing.
The move comes six months after the Co-operative – a chain of supermarkets -- became the first retail giant to be granted an ABS licence under the regime triggered by implementation of the Legal Services Act 2007.
While the Co-op intends to recruit teams of legally-qualified personnel, Saga said that some of its legal services would contracted to third parties. For example, probate and estate planning advice will be provided by London-based law firm Parabis, which itself was granted an ABS licence in August.
The Law Gazette weekly newspaper quoted Saga’s director of business development, Karen Brenchley, as batting away potential concerns about farming out some of its legal offerings. ‘There is no risk to having third parties,’ she told the paper. ‘It is something we have throughout our services. It is all about due diligence and making sure our partners work to the same standards. There will be careful monitoring of that.’
Legal Week newspaper reported that a Parabis ‘phone line that offers legal advice 24 hours a day and seven days a week will be open to Saga customers who buy its new advice package.