As a specialist family lawyer in a boutique family law firm I observe the announcement that the Co-op has entered the field of family law advice (albeit, for now, only in England) with some bemusement. Why would someone choose to approach the Co-op, an enormous money-making machine, for advice in this field, rather than a specialist firm? I am not sure I know the answer to that but one of the main points they make in their marketing is that they will make family law services more accessible. I cannot agree with this. I regularly take calls from people making an initial enquiry about family law services, our website sees a lot of traffic, our affiliated site “Right Kind of Divorce” that holds a wealth of information about family law issues is the same. To my mind family law services are accessible and the main attraction of the Co-op must be cost. Much is made of the fact that they offer fixed fee pricing, however that is something that other legal firms, even in this field, have been doing for years. The important distinction is between those matters that can be and are dealt with under a fixed fee and those that cannot. We can offer a fixed fee for an undefended ordinary divorce and for a simplified divorce or will. We cannot where the case is likely to involve a contested hearing as the time to be spent by a lawyer on the case just cannot be predicted. It would be a bit like a builder quoting for building a wall before he knows if it is to be two metres long and three courses high or fifty metres long and ten courses high. On closer examination of the Co-op website I note they are not offering a fixed fee in such cases either. All in all I would suggest that the discerning purchaser of legal services would always go for the experienced, personal, specialist touch that a firm like ours can offer.