02 March 2021

The Openwork Partnership, one of the UK’s largest and longest established financial advice and investment networks, is joining forces with Co-op Legal Services to offer legal services.

The new arrangement will enable The Openwork Partnership to offer a range of legal support services with one of the country’s biggest providers, including wills, probate, family law and employment law to advisers and their clients.

The expansion into legal services builds on The Openwork Partnership’s rebrand and its renewed focus on putting clients at the heart of the business and working together to deliver its growth strategy.

Demand for legal services in general and wills, family and employment law in particular has grown rapidly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as more clients realise the need for estate planning as well as help with employment and family issues.

Co-op Legal Services research* with advisers shows 79% believe better estate planning services would help them support their clients better and that half (50%) of couples have not made a will.

Paul Shearman, Proposition Director, Mortgages & Protection at The Openwork Partnership, said: "We wanted to partner with a firm able to deliver a broad range of legal services and the Co-op Legal Service’s award winning, digitally enabled proposition is exceptionally strong. We are sure it will be well received by advisers and their clients at a time when the recognition of the importance of many of services available has increased significantly as a result of the pandemic.”

Jonathan Appleby, Co-op Legal Services’ Head of Corporate Partners, added: “We are delighted to be working with The Openwork Partnership who provide important financial advice to their client base. Legal services can play an important part in underpinning someone’s financial wellbeing and we look forward to providing support to The Openwork Partnership’s advisers and their clients.”

A key factor in the decision to work with Co-op Legal Services is its high rating with customers on Trustpilot at 4.6 and its significant investment in technology to deliver an engaging digital legal hub for advisers to use with clients.

As part of the tie-up The Openwork Partnership advisers will be able to offer a holistic approach to advice on legal services before referring clients to Co-op Legal Services through its online portal for further advice and support with producing legal documents.

The Openwork Partnership has more than 4,200 financial advisers across the UK and operates as a directly authorised, multi-panel distribution network. Its new website includes an interactive map enabling more clients to access support from the network.

-ends- Openwork Press Office: * YouGov survey 2020 media@openworkpressoffice.com 07977 550913

About The Openwork Partnership The Openwork Partnership is one of the UK’s largest financial services networks with the group having over 4,200 financial advisers operating across the UK. It operates as a directly authorised, multi-panel distribution network.  The Openwork Partnership operates panels for pensions, annuities, and protection (life assurance, critical illness, General Insurance). Omnis Investments, the investment arm of the group, offers a range of investment funds, managed by some of the best fund managers in the market, as well as a managed portfolio service.  In the mortgage sector The Openwork Partnership operates a panel of over 50 lenders for mortgages and is among the top three networks for almost all the major mortgage providers.  The Openwork Group is majority-owned by the Openwork Partnership LLP with its employees holding a minority stake. Further information on The Openwork Partnership can be found at www.theopenworkpartnership.com

About Co-op Legal Services  Co-op Legal Services became the first alternative business structure (ABS) in the UK in 2012 and has long been established as a market leader in Probate and estate administration and as one of the leading Will writing businesses in the UK. In April 2018, Co-op acquired Simplify Probate, the UK’s second largest provider of probate, cementing the Co-op’s position as the leading provider of probate in the UK. Simplify Probate, which is part of the Simplify Group of companies, has been a specialist provider of probate and estate administration for more than 25 years and also runs an established Bereavement Advice Centre which provides access to practical bereavement advice online and by telephone. Co-op Legal Services is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.