Founding member Burroughs Day leaves QualitySolicitors
South West law firm is latest to leave umbrella marketing network
Burroughs Day, one of the founding members of QualitySolicitors, has left the network to trade under its own name again, casting fresh doubts over the future of a project that once embodied the post-LSA mood.
'The time is now right for Burroughs Day to build on its own long-established, excellent reputation in the West Country, rather than being part of a national umbrella marketing network,' said senior partner Hugh Balchin.
The South West law firm's departure is the latest in a series of high-profile exits from QS. South Wales firm Rubin Lewis O'Brien left the network in January after six years. It, too, said it preferred developing ties with the local community rather than being part of a national brand.
Midlands-based Talbot, another early joiner, left after five years in May 2016, and Leicestershire firm Mander Cruickshank went it alone in December the same year.
Another long-standing member, Kent-based Martin Tolhurst, left the network at the beginning of 2017. The most recent firm to leave was Yorkshire-based Burns and Co, another co-founder, which cut ties with QS in March.
Burroughs Day has offices in Bristol and Portishead. It joined the QS organisation as a founding member in June 2010 and was a key player on the QS national strategy committee, leading initiatives to standardise client services across the network.
The timing coincides with the firm becoming an LLP, trading as Burroughs Day LLP from 1 May 2017, and moving to new offices in a historic Grade II listed building on Bristol's Queen Square.
'Burroughs Day has enjoyed the visibility that comes with being a national brand,' said Balchin. 'As a founder member of QS, we helped drive client-friendly initiatives such as more accessible opening hours and transparency on fees. Burroughs Day is still committed to improving the delivery of legal services, and will continue to develop this.'
At its peak QS counted about 100 member firms. It now has an estimated 60. Last week the network appeared to take a new strategic direction as it announced a country-wide deal with food and drink retailer Nisa.
Under a three-month trial agreement, Nisa shopowners will have access to legal advice from their local QS firm.
Jean-Yves Gilg is editor-in-chief of Solicitors Journal