The Co-operative Group has kicked off a pilot scheme to offer legal services from its outlets on the high street.

Three of the mutual’s Bristol banks will offer free legal advice to shoppers over the next two weeks.

It comes ahead of the looming deregulation of the legal services arena in the UK, with the Legal Services Act taking effect from October. The change, which will allow providers other than law firms to offer legal services, has been dubbed ‘Tesco law’ amid expectations of a deluge of entrants to the legal market from the high street.

Eddie Ryan, managing director of Co-operative Legal, said: “Many people feel that solicitors communicate with them poorly, use jargon that is confusing and don't understand how services are priced.

“The presence of the Co-operative's trusted brand in the market place… provides customers with both greater accessibility and better value for money.”

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