Consumers are cool on the idea of paying for legal advice from the likes of Tesco, new research suggests.

In a blow to Tesco’s ambitions to offer legal services such as conveyancing, the poll found many consumers were unlikely to be influenced by the ‘reassurance’ of a major high street brand when instructing a solicitor.

Just one in 20 of those polled by research group Jures picked out Tesco as the big-name brand they were most likely to turn to for legal advice. By contrast, 14% said Marks & Spencer was the most appealing brand.

And more than a third (34%) said they would resist turning to a high street brand if they needed legal advice.

The research comes in the wake of the 2007 Legal Services Act, which from next year will usher in widespread deregulation of the legal sector in England and Wales.

Under provisions widely dubbed ‘Tesco law’, high street businesses will be able to offer legal advice in a direct challenge to established law firms.

“What we found is that consumers don’t automatically gravitate to the perceived security of high street brands,” said Jon Robins of Jures.

“In fact the ‘reassurance’ of a familiar name was not identified as a compelling reason for choosing a lawyer. Instead, consumers value quality of advice and price certainty, way above the comfort factor of big brands.”

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