Feel Good Friday: Bell Lamb & Joynson, Smartsearch, Keebles & Hodge

There have been lots of positive things happening across the sector this week, so we wanted to share these good vibes with you as part of our ‘Feel Good Friday’ news items. 

Here is a little snap shot of what’s been going on.

Bell Lamb & Joynson Solicitors welcomes five recruits to mark new business year

North West legal firm Bell Lamb & Joynson solicitors has recently welcomed five new recruits in line with the start of its business year.

The award-winning solicitors created a number of new roles to support growing business, which has seen the team enjoy a 5% increase in turnover in the last 12 months despite the ongoing situation with Covid-19.

With locations in Liverpool, Warrington and Runcorn, the team now includes 50 members of staff across departments such as conveyancing, family law and criminal law to name a few. As part of the recent recruitment drive, the firm will also add to its development strategy with new dedicated roles to manage business and client relationships.

Managing Partner at Bell Lamb & Joynson Solicitors Mike Leeman said:

“As we entered our new business and financial year in July, we also welcomed a number of new recruits to the firm, adding to our workforce across our three North West office locations. We feel incredibly fortunate that we’re in a position to expand and futureproof our business for the year ahead and beyond.

“As well as hiring in our conveyancing department, which has been exceptionally busy throughout recent months, and our finance team, we’ve also prioritised business development going forward and have built an entirely new team to focus on this aspect. As we near our 200-year anniversary in 2021, it’s important to us to continue to build on the momentum that we’ve initiated over recent years and continue to make a name for ourselves across England and Wales as a leading, reputable law firm and business relationships are integral to that.”

Bell Lamb and Joynson Solicitors has welcomed Lawrence Dunne as a Conveyancing Assistant and Jenny Randell as a Conveyancing Fee Earner, alongside Accounts Cashier Tim Cousins.

The newly established business development team will be headed up by Relationship Manager Joe Holmes who will be working alongside Client Relationship Executive Kate Mansfield as well as existing members of staff.

Mike added:

“We pride ourselves on our modern ways of working that have been designed to benefit both our customers and our staff with the use of technology to simplify old processes and communication methods. We’ve been working tirelessly over the last three years to reinvent ourselves, including a rebrand and a shift towards paperless working.

“I think it’s a testament to our reputation and our dedication and passion for what we do that we’ve been able to thrive during these difficult and uncertain times and are in a position to be able to recruit due to growing services and customer demand. Having these new additions will allow us to better utilise the resources that we have to continue this upwards trend as we hit a milestone year for business in 2021. In my opinion, investment into your people and offering a competitive environment in which they can progress personally and professionally all impacts the overall success of your business, which is why we will continue to prioritise this as a firm.”

For more information, visit www.bljsolicitors.co.uk

Hodge appoints Matthew Burton as Group Retail Director and Deputy CEO

Matt Burton, Group Retail Director and Deputy CEO of Hodge

Matt Burton has been named as Hodge’s new Group Retail Director and Deputy CEO. Matt will oversee the mortgage and savings business in addition to the operations and customer teams at Hodge; he will also be a permanent member of the Hodge board.

Matt joined Hodge in 2015 as Head of Finance, before taking up the role of Managing Director of Mortgages in February 2019.

During his time at Hodge, Matt has been instrumental in the development of the bank’s mortgage products, including the launch of its 50+ and Holiday Let products. Matt has also been a member of the Equity Release Council since 2019 and was elected a board member in 2020. Matt will report directly into David Landen, Chief Executive at Hodge.

Chair of Hodge Graeme Hughes said of Matt’s appointment:

“In his five years at Hodge, Matt has made a notable impact on our mortgage portfolio and he will continue to build on this expertise within the savings and operations teams, in addition to continuing to lead the mortgage team.

“As we embrace the post-Covid world, Matt’s experience will help us grow and innovate within our market, responsibly delivering great lending and savings products for our customers and firmly putting our customers at the centre of our business.”

Commenting on his appointment, Matt said:

“I am absolutely thrilled to step into this role at Hodge and work with the executive team to help the business grow and thrive. We have developed some really great products for customers in the specialist lending market in recent years. Hodge are well-placed to continue to build on this whilst developing our savings business, improving our service and continuing to evolve our existing product range.”

SmartSearch ‘Triple Check’ harnesses the power of three to set a new standard in AML security

Anti-money-laundering (AML) specialist SmartSearch has launched TripleCheck, a ground-breaking new digital Know Your Customer (KYC) and AML solution.

TripleCheck combines three highly sophisticated verification methods to set a new standard in AML security.

Level 1 – Identification and Verification with sanctions and PEP screening

Level 1 is SmartSearch’s award-winning electronic identity verification.

With just a name, address and date of birth, the system uses dual-bureau credit reference agency (CRA) data and the Dow Jones Global Watchlist to perform a full AML check, with automatic sanctions and politically exposed persons (PEP) screening.

Advanced AI automatically triggers enhanced due diligence on any matches and resolves almost all ‘false positives’.

Level 2 – Facial recognition, document capture and liveness appraisal

Level 2 combines optical character recognition (OCR) and the latest biometric facial recognition techniques to provide a true picture of a customer.

This highly advanced technology performs an algorithmic check on photo ID documents to ensure they are authentic. Then, using a customer ‘Selfie Liveness Video’ (SLV), it uses biometric and liveness detection to compare the ‘real person’ with the document provided to ensure the image and information is genuine.

Level 3 – Digital fraud checks with data referencing and triangulation

Level 3 of TripleCheck utilises various Digital Elements (DEs) such as mobile phone numbers, email and IP addresses, to create robust and easy-to-understand fraud risk indicators and deliver an overall risk score. A dashboard provides detailed information to support additional due diligence, enabling further investigation of high-risk events.

The SmartSearch TripleCheck technology then ‘triangulates’ this information, matching the DEs to the individual’s terrestrial address and enabling the CRA data, ID document and SLV imaging to be bound together to create a unique Composite Digital Identity (CDI).

John Dobson, CEO at SmartSearch

Commenting on the launch of TripleCheck, John Dobson, CEO of SmartSearch said:

“Our mission is to make AML compliance easy, While the technology behind TripleCheck is highly advanced, the interface and the outputs have been designed with user-friendliness in mind, meaning staff at any level can successfully perform a SmartSearch TripleCheck.
“By combining three sophisticated verification processes into one powerful tool, we have created the most powerful, robust and reliable all-in-one AML platform on the market.”

Home moves ‘made smoother’ with new Keebles LLP residential app

Keebles LLP has launched a new residential conveyancing smartphone app to support estate agents and home movers across the Yorkshire region.

The Keebles App is an interactive service which provides transparency and live updates during a home move and enables the majority of paperwork to be sent and signed electronically.

The app is designed to further enhance customer service and efficiency and has been developed for use with Keebles’ Residential Conveyancing clients following successful trials and positive feedback from clients.

It features a WhatsApp style messaging service, enabling solicitors and clients to communicate directly through the app. It also allows clients to track progress easily with a ‘steps’ function which ticks off each part of the process as it is completed.

Buyers can keep a permanent electronic record of documents by keeping the app on their phone or tablet after the sale has been completed.

Mike Ramsden, Keebles’ Business Development Officer

Mike Ramsden, Keebles’ Business Development Officer, oversaw the app’s development. He said:

“This new technology allows us to conduct 99 per cent of the conveyancing process from start to finish on the app.

“The messaging service will speed up the time taken to respond to clients who want to know where we are with their file. It allows us to add a further dimension to our client communication, allowing us to get vital messages to our clients in a quicker, smarter, more efficient way.

“As a people-focused firm which prides itself on its client care, the app will allow us to further enhance the way we communicate with our clients, while maintaining a level of human-to-human contact – either over the phone, via email or in person – which remains vital to the conveyancing process.”

Keebles’ residential property team specialises in sales, purchases and re-mortgages. As well as acting for clients in Yorkshire, the team also acts for clients all over the country.

Mike added:

“We’ve seen a huge take-up in the first few weeks and clients who have sold a property before are really appreciating how different it is to the last time they went through the conveyancing process.

“The app also means that when clients come to sell the property, everything is there for them to access whenever they need to.”

Bonita Wolfenden, Keebles’ Partner and Head of Residential Conveyancing in Sheffield, said:

“We are delighted to be able to offer this new service to our clients.

“It’s a huge leap forward for us as a team. Although the app will never replace the value of direct client contact, it will increase efficiency and allow us to provide an as-live update throughout the conveyancing process so that our clients will be kept up to speed at the click of a button.”

The mobile phone App is free to download for Android and iOS phones or tablets, with a desktop version also available.

For more information on Keebles LLP Residential Property Department, visit https://www.keebles.com/individuals/residential-conveyancing/ or call 0114 276 5555.

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