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Supermarket Legal Services Coming to the U.K.

Five apples, a dozen eggs, a liter of milk, two wills and a lease. That's what a grocery list could look like in supermarkets in England and Wales by the middle of 2011, according to the BBC. Under the Legal Services Act of 2007, non-lawyer entities, including shops and grocery stores, will be able to sell legal services, or at least retain an ownership interest in those firms providing services.

As the date for implementation of the Legal Services Act draws closer, some lawyers have concerns about their future. Barrister Craig Holt, chief executive of QualitySolicitors.com, says that "the solicitor profession faces being all but wiped out by a government seemingly intent on robbing the public of access to good quality, local legal advice."

But others regard the new system as a way to offer more competition and benefits to consumers. There's discussion of outsourcing legal services overseas and providing advice by phone and over Internet sites, once rules are more relaxed.

Question for readers: Do you think we'll ever see this kind of loosening on lawyers' monopolies here in the U.S.?

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on May 15, 2009 at 02:54 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

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