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The show is almost over for Miss QS

19 October 2011

QualitySolicitors will almost certainly axe its animated puppet-style ‘Miss QS’ in a new multi-million pound marketing campaign launched next year, Solicitors Journal has learned.

Craig Holt, founder of QualitySolicitors, said Miss QS “had been a good and loyal servant to the brand, but we may be putting her out to pasture”.

He said the QS brand was set for a “fairly significant revamp” with new, non-animated visuals and “a bit of a John Lewis style”.

Holt said the aim was to present a “grown-up QS”, which was more mature and reflected the company’s growth. He said there were now around 220 law firms in the network and 160 legal access points in WHSmith shops.

He said that earlier this month a more rigorous mystery shopping regime had been put in place to make sure firms and access points offered the right quality of service.

Holt said QS had also set up its own in-house training department, focusing on soft skills and sales. “It’s amazing how bad solicitors are at converting leads into sales,” he said.

Speaking to the LegalFutures conference in London earlier this week, Holt said the 2012 marketing campaign would “dwarf anything seen before”.

Holt, a family law barrister, said that when he moved from London to Leicester finding a conveyancer was an “incredibly frustrating” experience. He said a search on the Law Society’s database revealed a choice of 30 solicitors in the city centre he could have used.

“I would have given anything to be presented with a brand I was familiar with,” Holt said.

“Who wouldn’t buy legal services from brands when it is such a deeply ingrained trait in human nature? Not only would I have gone to a brand, I would have paid more to go to one.

“There are far too many law firms and no way for the consumer in any meaningful way to tell the difference.”

Earlier, Ajaz Ahmed, from LEGAL365.com, warned solicitors that “change is coming, and the agents of change will come from outside the industry”.

Ahmed said the LEGAL365 hoped to create a national franchise as successful as Specsavers.

“You need to be in your forties to be a partner in a law firm but you can buy a franchise in your late twenties.

“Maintaining the status quo is not an option. Companies from outside the sector will offer services in ways we can’t even imagine.”

Ahmed clashed with Ray Gordon, founder of face2face solicitors, over whether clients should be called ‘customers’.

Gordon, who uses the word ‘clients’, said high street practices had lots of wills on their shelves and asked how others could compete with that.

“Most people don’t have wills,” Ahmed said. “People are physically scared of going to law firms. Thirty-thousand people are living apart who can’t get a divorce because they cannot afford it. On our site you can get a divorce for £275.”