And now a little bit of light relief – fancy a sausage?

With the onset of summer, the work for the day done, I took myself  (and my slightly sinister new temporary  tache) off to a cafe in Battersea Square to sit in the sun, drink black coffee, smoke Marlboros and catch up on a bit of law news in The Guardian and The Times.

After reading about Ken Clarke and how he won’t be an easy lay as Lord Chancellor, I turned to The Times Student Law section which can often a gorge fest for advertorial.  Today was no different.  I was entertained for five minutes by an article where  Peter Crisp,  CEO of BPP Law School,  justified his law school’s outrageous over subscription of students on the BVC last year – because ‘BPP is so popular’.  It appeared to have nothing whatsoever to do with extra wedge or , more formally, income or…indeed…. poor administration. Peter Crisp said there is now a statistician (appointed by the BVC) to ensure that BPP Law School registrars can count.

Yesterday I wrote about the extraordinary story of Katie Best at the BPP Business School saying she regarded the description ‘sausage factory’ as a compliment….

Actually, I take the “BPP is a sausage factory” criticism as a compliment – and not just because it reveals the nervousness of the establishment about the shake-ups in the sector we may prompt. Last time I looked, sausage factories were highly efficient, rational places that make money by providing consumers with a product they desire. Only a very small proportion of sausage factories make their money from churning out products of dubious quality; the rest focus their attention on making affordable, high-quality products that ensure repeat purchase.”

I repeat my hope that this ‘thinking’ does not escape, jump over the wall and infect the quality of work done by the professional team at BPP Law School!

Anyway, you have to hand it to Peter Crisp - he certainly keeps the message that BPP were not at fault in any way for the over recruitment on message.

Good News:  BPP has published the QAA report

I seem to recall that Peter Crisp has two sausage dogs!

Anyway… moving on to other matters legal…

Law firms take up the supermarket challenge

Tesco, the Co-op and others are planning to launch their new legal services under opportunities afforded by The Legal Services Act.  Big brand names are going into the market – including The Halifax.

I am pleased to report that The Times is reporting that high street solicitors are rising to this challenge with their own “BRAND”…. QualitySolicitors – providing no frills legal advice.

The Times reports: “Craig Holt, barrister and chief executive of the new QualitySolicitors network, said: “What the legal market is desperately missing is a recognisable, customer service-focused national brand name — a ‘household name’ — that people can rely on without having to spend hours researching and choosing between dozens of local law firms.”

I’m not sure the name is that great… a bit last century – but hey… what’s in a name?”

I rather suspect that branding this operation will cost a fair bit of money.  tesco, the Co-op and halifax sp[end millions and are already well known.  What’s more – they have the space in their supermarkets and bank outlets.  I rather liked this comment…

Eddie Ryan, managing director of Co-operative Legal Services, said: “Yes, we are a threat, [but] are we going to try and wipe out small firms? No.”

Yeah… right!

4 thoughts on “And now a little bit of light relief – fancy a sausage?

  1. My guess is the best hope for small solicitors’ firms lies in some kind of Specsavers-style umbrella brand / franchising arrangement. The problem with QualitySolicitors is the moment you search for a firm, you’re plunged straight back a bewildering array of firm names, website addresses and so on. Not altogether sure what it adds to existing directories.

    (This is just my personal view, doesn’t represent views of any law firm living or dead, yada yada yada……)

  2. if I was a potential student I would be a little worried by Katie’s wholehearted embrance of the “sausage machine” analogy.

    After all, if you pursue the analogy to its logical conclusion the “consumers” Katie refers to are surely the employers (who form the market for the finished product)… not the students.

    Sausage factories may be great for supermarket shoppers, but are they quite such good news for the pigs?

    Just a thought…

  3. I think it is a great idea. John H – I hear what you are saying. I think that is just temporary whilst they recruit more branded firms… i.e. they have 15 “specsavers” equivalents in the QualitySolicitors name and complete their geographic coverage at the current time with “member ” firms. From reading the article in the Gazette it is clear that they plan to have Specsavers-type franchises across the country all branded as QualitySolicitors. Genuis idea if you ask me.

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