First firms come through the CQS application process

The Law Society has announced the first legal practices in England & Wales to secure membership to their Conveyancing Quality Scheme practice standard.
Martin Elliott & Co Solicitors (Colchester), Boys & Maughan (Kent), Hamers Solicitors LLP (Hull) and PCM Solicitors LLP (London) have become the first four practices to obtain CQS accreditation since the scheme opened for applications in January this year.
Having undergone rigorous assessment by the Law Society in order to secure CQS status, Law Society President Linda Lee said that the CQS award was recognition for their high standards in residential conveyancing.
“These first practices are the flag bearers of the CQS and this recognition of the quality of their service begins a new chapter in the home buying process. In what is already a crowded conveyancing market, CQS accredited legal practices will be clearly visible to anyone looking to buy a home.
For what is the most expensive purchase of anyone’s lifetime, it is vital that they can rely on the quality service provision of CQS.”
Jim Wyatt, Partner at Hamers Solicitors LLP says: “As the legal services market place opens up yet further in October customers will have a greater choice of legal providers. We want to be able to compete in this new market place by offering customers, old and new, a cost effective quality conveyancing service .This accreditation will help us do so."
Martin Elliott of Martin Elliott & Co Solicitors adds: “The CQS emphasis on client care and the Client Charter will help us to continue to improve the conveyancing service that we provide.
CQS will encourage the drive to e-Conveyancing and will encourage the standardisation of documents and procedures by use of the New Conveyancing Protocol — these will help us improve efficiency and speed of service without compromising professional standards. This can only be good for the consumer.”
Peter Rodd, Head of Conveyancing at Boys Maughan commented that the CQS would give homebuyers an instantly recognisable quality mark that would highlight a firm’s professional excellence and their commitment to providing a high quality service.
Paul Critchley, Senior Partner at PCM Solicitors LLP said that he wholeheartedly welcomed the launch of CQS and subscribes entirely to its core principles and further went on to say:
“Prospective clients seeing the CQS logo can instruct us in the certain knowledge that their transaction will be professionally, competently and faultlessly completed.”
According to the Law Society, practices applying to join the scheme must undergo a robust assessment and will be required to renew their membership each year with the aim that the scheme reinforces consistency of standards throughout the conveyancing process, reduces the risk of fraud and gives consumers peace of mind when it comes to home buying.
The Land Registry are also supporting the scheme with Marco Pierleoni, Chief Land Registrar and Chief Executive of Land Registry reported as saying:
“We welcome the introduction of the Conveyancing Quality Scheme as a further step in improving the conveyancing process."
Many other firms are awaiting to hear the outcome of their applications but a number report that the process is cumbersome particularly around the CRB checks.  Staff who many have changed their names due to marriage or use abbreviations of their name in their businesses seem to be having particular difficulty.
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