Co-op Establishes its Self as the Largest Wills and Probate Powerhouse in the UK
With an impressive streak of continued growth and mounting sales figures, the Co-operative Legal Services (CLS) is snatching the coveted top spot on the wills and probate industry’s food chain. CLS raked in £800,000 in profit within the first six months of the year, four times more than it did within that same period in 2017.
The impressive financial fundamentals this year is shaping up a 31% increase in yearly revenue. The revenue figures come in at £16.1 million this year, eclipsing the £12.3 million garnered in 2017.
According to Matt Howells, the managing director of CLS and of Life Planning, the improved key index matrices owe a lot to the increase in death rate and probate volumes over the first quarter. These increases have had a positive impact on both the parent company and the newly acquired Simplify Probate.
CLS has witnessed a propitious increase in sales across numerous practice areas of the firm, with marked increases in sales in probate, as well as a 42% increase in the number of people consulting the Co-op about wills. The company’s performance and sales figures in family practice has also increased significantly.
These impressive finance statistics are also borne out of the company’s ambitions to expand its Life Planning business. The company has pursued ‘leading market’ business solutions aggressively, pouring massive investments into the premises and pricing to that effect. The company’s acquisition of Simplify Probate and the complete integration of the platform is yet another demonstration of the company’s hard drive for growth in the Life Planning business.
With 170 staff, Simplify Probate was the second largest probate company in the UK. Now, the full integration of Simplify Probate into CLS organizational framework, which is set to be completed before the end of the year, will raise the number of staff on Co-op’s payroll past the 600 employee mark.
Matt Howells has also revealed that the company’s drive for expansion in its Life Planning and Legal business remains resolute. The company is set to invest more in its pool of human resources as well as technological inventories. These investments are projected to supercharge the company’s capacity for innovation, equipping the company with resources for delivering top-notch legal services to its clientele at affordable prices. The company’s affiliation with ‘Move With Us’, which is an offshoot of the company’s acquisition of acquire Simplify Probate, is another manifestation of the company’s lofty aspirations. This affiliation will also help the company gain a favourable stead in the conveyancing sector, even as the company continues to search for assets in its estate administration practice.
The strengthening position of CLS in the wills and probate industry might dampen the hopes of other competitors in the industry, but it will certainly enhance the prospects of customers receiving expedient services from a reputable brand for a highly sensitive societal needs.
Since its emergence as part of the original crop of alternative business structures endorsed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority in 2012, the Co-operative Legal Services has made commendable strides as a legal service provider. However, it was a bumpy ride for the company in the early days. The company struggled with abysmal sales figures and poor performances in its initial years as an ABS. The personal injury department was heavily understaffed at that point in time. But in recent years, the company has made steady progress, although at a slow pace. This has mainly been due to the company’s increasing focus on the wills and probate practice, as well as the company’s foray into online services.