A group of high street solicitors has secured up to £80m in private equity backing.

QualitySolicitors is aiming to have 1,200 branches across Britain by the end of next year after clinching a deal with Palamon Capital Partners under new ownership rules that came into force this month. The alliance of law firms was formed in May last year and already has 220 branches, in addition to 160 concessions in W H Smith outlets.

Craig Holt, QualitySolicitors founder and chief executive said that the new funding would allow the group to accelerate it's expansions plans and build the first nationwide, branded provider of legal services for consumers and small businesses.

QualitySolicitors is aiming to seize up to 40 per cent of Britain’s highly fragmented £14 billion consumer legal market. Industry observers believe that the market will follow a similar path to that of the opticians industry, which consolidated rapidly after ownership regulations were eased in the 1980s and came to be dominated by a handful of national brands, including Specsavers and Vision Express.