Co-Op Legal Services has suggested it is now the largest regulated provider of wills, estate planning and probate services. The claim comes following the release of its annual figures which show revenue growth of 19% to £46.3 million in 2022 and profits of £8 million, an increase of 60%.
Co-Op Legal Services was one of the first Alternative Business Structure (ABS), introduced in the wake of the Legal Services Act, and heralded as the first of the “Tesco Law” providers. It has also signed deal with Amazon to deliver a digital wills services. In its annual report the ABS says it is the “first legal firm to work with Amazon UK and this arrangement fits with our strategy of making legal services more affordable and accessible, bringing our services to new groups of customers in a way that works for them.”
To date, Amazon has only sold DIY Will packs. Single Wills are being sold for £150 and a mirror will for £245. Users input their details online then receive a follow-up call from a will writer who can answer any questions and finalise the document, which is then drafted and posted to them to sign.
Co-Op Legal Services has has mixed financial results since it launched with heavy losses in the early 2010’s but has bounced back in the last few years. In September 2019 they acquired Simply Probate and in 2020 Co-op Legal announced annual growth of 165% from £2.3m pre tax profits in 2018’s financial year to £6.1 million in 2019. Co-op increased the number of probate cases it handled by 24% from 2021 to 2022 while increasing revenue by 28%.
In July 2022 the provider announced the launch of a new fixed fee digital lasting power of attorney service. And alongside the Amazon partnership, this latest statement details the renewal of existing contracts with Cancer Research UK, Newcastle and Saffron Building Societies and Co-operative Bank.
Commenting on the results Caoilionn Hurley, Managing Director of Co-op Legal Services, said:
“2022 has been an incredibly strong year for our legal services business – in the context of challenges and economic uncertainty, we’ve continued to deliver strong growth. We also delivered on our commitment to make legal services affordable and accessible by bringing our services to new groups of customers in a way that works for them.”