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Editor's blog | Unknown territory

Nick Hilborne looks back on a strange week for the Co-op

29 April 2013

Whatever has happened to Tesco Law? Last week was a strange one for the Co-op, pioneer of the new retail-driven legal services age. A day after unveiling its nationwide face-to-face family legal aid service, stretching from Newcastle to Exeter and involving 23 bank branches, the Co-op announced that it was pulling out of the purchase of more than 600 branches from Lloyds.

Co-operative Legal Services, which aims to be the largest consumer law brand in the country, has insisted that it is not affected by the collapse of the Lloyds deal and it can rely on the Co-op's existing network. But this is very different from having 1,000 branches in place by 2015 and high street lawyers are entitled to breathe a small sigh of relief.

The Co-op blamed the "economic environment" for scuppering the Lloyds purchase. Britain may have escaped a triple-dip recession, but it seems that stagnation rather than growth will be with us for some time. What is unclear is whether ...

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