I received a couple of book tokens this Xmas so whilst shopping in the sales on Boxing Day I walked into WHSmiths. On entering I immediately saw a huge pink sign emblazoned on the wall with the words ‘QualitySolicitors’. My first thought was “Oh my god! The ABS’s are here!”. Then my brain kicked in and I remembered that applications to qualify as an ABS (Alternative Business Stucture) weren’t open until January and if the speed that the SRA dealt with our student applications is anything to go by, it will take a while for businesses to actually be awarded ABS status (if you don’t know what an ABS where have you been!? Google it!).
All thought of trying to buy a book evaporated as I found myself drawn toward the huge TV screen with pink writing flying across it. There were leaflets on display for divorce, wills, injury compensation, employment issues and business legal advice. The interesting thing was the phone (currently disconnected) attached to the wall that you could use to call a solicitor for a free consultation, or a number to call from a mobile which they would then ring you back from.
It all seemed rather strange, I know I wouldn’t want to take legal advice whilst standing in a crowded and noisy bookshop but I suppose the convenience of it being there right in front of you screaming in big pink letters would entice people in and would take the hassle out of trying to find a solicitor yourself.
The stresses on a family of the Christmas and New Year period are often cited as reason for the high divorce rates in January. QualitySolicitors are rather cleverly making themselves highly accessible to quarrelling couples as they hit the shops for the sales.
Imagine the scene; boxing day sales, the disgruntled husband desperate to escape the endless clothes shops wanders into WHSmiths laden with all the shopping bags and sees QualitySolicitors. He’s got several hours to kill whilst waiting for the other half, so he sidles up to the phone, talks to a very understanding solicitor about how terrible Christmas has been with the wife and one thing leads to the next and he’s divorced!
Random speculations aside, I’m no longer shopping and am back at college hard at work yet I still can’t escape QualitySolicitors, I found them this time in the library. They’re latest promotion involves a cardboard cover seemingly randomly stapled to the front and back of the Law Society Gazette. Apparently 2012 is the year of QualitySolicitors, we shall see.