Administration announcement for CQS firm

Hot on the heels of Cobbetts collapse in Manchester the Law Society Gazette last week announced that Atteys is to go into administration and we are being informed that conveyancing staff are contacting other local firms seeking employment elsewhere.

The firm has always been highly respected for its conveyancing practice and our thoughts are clearly with all the staff at this time. Atteys is a CQS accredited conveyancer and according to 2012 data from Land Registry the 82nd largest conveyancer in the country.

The Law Society Gazette reports Finance director Andy Tuke saying "As a result of continuing financial pressures, Atteys has engaged BDO Leeds to assist in looking for a buyer so that the firm can continue to service clients and preserve jobs" "To allow the process to be conducted in an appropriate way, the company has given notice of intention to appoint administrators, but the company is not currently in administration. Staff are being consulted about their future and we very much hope that we will be able to preserve most jobs."

The Gazette went on to quote him as saying it is "currently business as usual as far as our clients are concerned, and we are working closely with the Solicitors Regulation Authority to ensure all their interests are properly safeguarded".

This maybe so but for new conveyancing clients might they be misled by some of the accreditations that this firm still holds?

Despite the announcement the firm still appears on the list of accredited CQS firms (as at Sunday 17th February).

We would hope this set of circumstances is being considered by the CQS team in the Law Society to ensure that their measures of financial stability are appropriate and the speed of their reaction when circumstances alter is sufficiently quick.

There is no right answer as to how financially stable a CQS firms should be however with a lack of clarity as to how the CQS team view the financial stablity of an accredited business, it is fair to ask what financial test of stability should be the appropriate test for a CQS firm. If that test is wrong or the response is too slow by the CQS team what message do consumers and lenders receive about the value of CQS?

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