Bank and law firm scheme to help separating clients

COUPLES who are separating can now get help with meeting the high legal costs of a split.

Law firm DWF LLP, which has an office in Leeds, has teamed up

with the Co-operative Bank to help couples meet the cost of divorce proceedings.

An agreement has been reached whereby DWF can introduce clients to the bank with a view to agreeing loan facilities to be used to meet the legal costs of proceedings and achieving a financial settlement.

The unsecured facility offers favourable interest rates with the loan cleared in full once the case has been settled and assets realised.

There is also, in appropriate cases, the opportunity to roll up the monthly repayments and arrangement fee into the overall loan payable at the end of the case which will help many people on limited income.

Choosing

Paula France, account manager at the Manchester Corporate Banking Centre of The Co-operative Bank, said: "This is an extension of our long-standing relationship with DWF where we are seeking to provide facilities to their clients with a view to making the decision of choosing a law firm much easier."

DWF are not allowed to provide loans under the Consumer Credit Act so this initiative is purely a referral scheme.

The Co-operative Bank takes on responsibility for agreeing any loans.

David Pickering, head of family law and private clients, based at DWF LLP's Manchester offices, said: "We have a long-standing relationship with The Co-operative Bank

and they were very forthcoming with their willingness to lend to and support our clients in difficult circumstances."

The Co-operative Bank is part of Co-operative Financial Services (CFS).

Following the merger with Britannia Building Society in 2009 CFS is one of the largest and well diversified mutual businesses operating in both retail and corporate markets.

Combined

As part of The Co-operative Group, the new business is characterised by its ethical and member reward policies and very high levels of customer advocacy. The combined business has 70 billion in assets, 12,000 staff and nine million customers.

It has more than 300 high street branches, 20 corporate banking centres and a major presence in Manchester, London, Leek, Plymouth, Skelmersdale and Stockport.

DWF LLP is one of the fastest growing law firms in the UK, with over 1,200 employees based in Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Preston, providing a range of services with the corporate, finance and restructuring, litigation, property, people and insurance sectors, as well as private clients.

Gareth Harris of RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

160 staff lose their jobs as Leeds-based kitchen supplier goes into administration