Plymouth to be pilot for pioneering consumer legal service ahead of national roll out

A new app which aims to make legal advice and support more affordable and accessible for consumers is to be piloted in Plymouth ahead of a national roll out across England and Wales within the next few weeks.

LegalShield, a UK-based provider of legal services, has unveiled LegalDefence™, which will offer wide ranging consumer legal advice and support for just £24 per month, covering everything from disputes with landlords and neighbours; to driving and parking offences.

The company, which has appointed Clare McCann from Plymouth to head up the marketing of the new service, is teaming up with the UK’s best known consumer law firm Slater and Gordon to offer the 24/7 service. Customers will be able to tap into advice from a qualified legal adviser via their smartphones, access self-help legal documents and template letters and benefit from correspondence produced by a highly qualified lawyer. Members can also take advantage of significant discounts on wills, conveyancing and re-mortgaging, as well as more complex legal matters requiring specialist support such as family and employment issues.

Mike Roberts, Managing Director of LegalShield, says: “We have chosen the city as our pilot location so that we can ensure a successful national roll out.

“Our app, which has attracted 1.7m subscribers in the USA, is all about making legal services for consumers affordable, accessible and accountable.  By harnessing the power of technology and combining it with high level legal expertise from Slater and Gordon, we are putting legal support into the hands of anyone, and everyone knows how much they are paying. It also provides a hotline to your lawyer directly from the app.”

“For an outlay of under £300 per year, 80p per day, we offer access to advice and support on a whole range of legal services as well as heavily discounted services. By providing an everyday service for a broad range of consumer legal scenarios, it offers significant value for money.”

Roberts added: “LegalDefence will be a benefit to the likes of homebuyers, families, tenants, motorists, cyclists, taxpayers, employees and those who have been married and have decided to go their separate ways.”

The benefits of membership extend to the member’s spouse/partner, dependent children under the age of 16 and children in full time education up to the age of 23 living at the same residence. It also covers children with disabilities at any age living at home.

Added value features include the ability for a member to send a photograph of a notice of intended prosecution via the app to their legal adviser in the event of a driving offence. There is also an AI-powered Chatbot called Gordon, who is available to answer questions from both non-members and members on a multitude of consumer legal matters.

Martyn Beauchamp, Chief Customer Officer at Slater and Gordon, said: “Innovating through technology and progressive partnerships is a key part of our strategy to transform the way UK customers use legal services. Our partnership with LegalShield increases access to justice at a fair price and means we can offer UK customers an unrivalled level of choice and convenience – all from the palm of their hand.”

LegalDefence is looking to capitalise on the significant demand for affordable consumer legal services in the UK. Recent research conducted by Morar HPI on behalf of LegalShield showed that nearly 7 people in 10 have recently experienced a situation that could require legal support, but less than half of these actually took legal advice. In addition, 75% of respondents would consider a solicitor if the service was affordable. Recent annual statistics also highlight the market opportunity with some 102,000 divorces, 2.2m speeding offences, 1.2m property transactions, 18,500 bicycle accidents and 60% of Brits without a will.