Construction firms are poised to take advantage of a government ruling that will allow them to offer legal advice as part of their service.

The reform, hinted at by the lord chancellor Lord Falconer this week, will permit non-legal companies to own and manage law firms.

It has been dubbed “Tesco law” as it would allow supermarkets to offer legal advice but it would also allow consultants to offer a “one-stop shop” to clients.

Falconer said the current system was inflexible because it stopped lawyers working in partnership with financial advisers or surveyors, and this led to the client paying more.

The shift would mean that a Legal Services Board would be set up to regulate the broader legal profession, instead of just the Law Society and Bar Council.

A spokesperson for consultant Atkins said the firm was watching developments with interest.

The reforms will be set out in a White Paper later this year.