The hauliers have moved into legal services. What puts them in the vanguard?


Celebrity trucking firm Eddie Stobart has taken a new route this month, swerving across several commercial lanes and turning into the field of Law.

A new sub-brand, Stobart Barristers, will provide direct access to a panel of 1,000 barristers, juniors and QCs without the need for a solicitor, which it claims will save customers money.

Stobart Group are keen to stress that they are not jumping on the ABS bandwagon, having set up under the 2004 Direct Public Access (DPA) legislation. But what kind of service are they offering?

If the web site is anything to go by, and it should be, then it’s a largely financial proposition aimed squarely at the disaffected daytime TV market.

The design of the site is hardly over-finessed. In keeping with the rest of the Stobart estate, it’s an eye-watering collision of Scrubs green and the same yellow one finds in newsagent cheese.

The site has nailed these colours to a mast of sales propositions that are communicated in block capitals. WE’LL GIVE IT TO YOU STRAIGHT, it says, adding that one can SAVE WORRY, SAVE MONEY, SAVE TIME with the service, as if fighting a case in court is just like buying motor insurance.

Strangest of all is the line spacing of the body copy, where very generous leading presumably eases the eyes of people not used to reading. There’s also a short film in which Mark Wingett, late of The Bill and therefore an accepted authority on all things legal, parrots the same propositions whilst wandering around a seemingly deserted warehouse.

Many of the arguments sound solid, though. Witness this spiel regarding why punters shouldn’t go to barristers directly:

The reason is choice. You’re not limited to the barristers from one chambers when you call Stobart. We have arrangements with many chambers all over the country, which means you’re much more likely to find exactly the right expert for your case…. Also, because we are passing high volumes of business to our barrister panel, we can demand better rates and faster service on your behalf.

Fair enough. Will it work, do you think? Next week: Norbert Dentressangle’s actuarial services. AB/KM


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