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Everyman Legal to launch business hub franchise

5 January 2012

Everyman Legal, the Oxfordshire ‘virtual’ law firm, has announced plans to launch a franchise operation which would create business hubs for commercial lawyers in towns across the country.

The firm, which combines a network of ‘partner’ solicitors with online sales of templates and documents, said it was talking to “a number of prospective franchisees” with the aim of running three pilots in market towns over the next 12 months.

Everyman Legal, which is to apply to the SRA to become an ABS in March, was the first firm to announce plans for a stock exchange listing, in October last year (see 7 October 2011).

A spokeswoman for Everyman said the franchise would be “an extension of Everyman’s current home-based freelance solicitor model, and will give solicitors striking out on their own the ability to work from an office supported by Everyman’s marketing platform and back-office systems.

“Each hub will be run by a leader, who will be based at the office with a support team, with other members of the Everyman team in the area able to use the hub as and when required.”

The spokeswoman said the aim was to replicate Everyman’s headquarters in Witney, Oxfordshire.

James Hunt, founder of Everyman Legal, said: “There are some practice areas, like my own, which would be difficult if not impossible to undertake effectively from home.

“The need to work closely with solicitors and other colleagues and to work with other advisers in the Witney business community means I can only work effectively from an Everyman Legal business hub.”

Hunt went on: “The right people will find what we are going to do very empowering. By creating the right business framework, we will free the creative talent of the best solicitors, leaving them to do what they do best, provide exceptional client service and practical legal advice.”

Hunt said Everyman Legal was developing its marketing and sales strategy and had appointed a leading brand and marketing consultancy.

The firm intends to trade its shares on Sharemark, a stock market for smaller companies, in the last quarter of 2012.