Interview with Craig Taylor of LEAP
Craig Taylor is the Conveyancing Manager at LEAP. With a successful background in technology specific the legal sector, Craig has built an in-depth understanding of the property market and a passion for meeting the diverse needs of firms through the greater adoption of digitisation. In this interview, he discusses LEAP’s new quality standard, LEAP BPS, and the importance for firms to communicate their quality of service to consumers.
So Craig, why have LEAP created a quality standard?
We identified a requirement for a standard that reflects the modern firm’s use of end to end cloud-based technology as well as the enhanced risk reduction, improved compliance and transparency that this provides. There was an obvious gap in the existing offerings available and as we strive to provide additional value to our clients, this seemed like a really important and fundamental solution.
Is the standard for the firm, for consumers or for lenders?
Whilst it’s initially the firm who will derive the most explicit benefit, the idea is that this will trickle down to be a key signpost for other parties in their decision-making process when choosing a provider. The standard helps the firm demonstrate their adherence to a robust quality scheme and this really ensures client confidence when deciding on which firm to work with; after all, the conveyancer plays such a crucial role in one of the potentially most costly and stressful transactions a consumer will face. Best Practice ensures that the process is efficient, speedy and transparent. A natural consequence of this practice should be recognised by third-party stakeholders including insurers and lenders – I know which firms I would rather work with!
What is involved in the assessment for the quality standard?
The LEAP BPS ensures that the firm’s conducting of the conveyancing process is not only efficient, but also that technology is used throughout the process to manage and record every stage. This then allows for remote and independent audits to take place. Whilst at first I thought this was going to be a barrier to entry, it actually proved to be the key attraction to our clients….! We have engaged with the specialist legal auditors, Centre for Assessment, who will provide five file audits per quarter to our Best Practice firms. This really does ensure consistent and compliant practices whilst also giving peace of mind to the senior team. The benefits of a second pair of eyes are evident, and include helping to more quickly identify gaps where improvements can be made, as well as ensuring that any other issues are dealt with sooner rather than later.
What are the benefits for conveyancers?
Beyond the audits, risk reduction and potential PII benefits, we have invested in the materials to help promote participation, including certification, reception window transfers, dated audit logos as well as a consumer landing page. As well as communicating to the consumer that the firm has ascertained a particular standard and are doing all they can to improve the consumer experience, this material ensures they are aware of the benefits of working with a LEAP BPS firm. Whilst this is still really phase 1, we look forward to incorporating additional benefits as the standard develops.
What is your view on the recent Government announcement on the changes in the process?
I think historically, conveyancers have been wary of technology, particularly when it requires changing the way they’ve done something for so long. Unfortunately, whilst society is moving forward so rapidly in terms of digital innovation, the conveyancing sector hasn’t been able to progress at the same pace. It’s positive to see that the government has recognised the need for changes, and that greater implementation of technology is a way to achieve this. It really supports our message of empowering the solicitor to work smarter, not harder.
Sharing his thoughts on the BPS was LEAP’s CEO, Peter Baverstock. He said: “The LEAP Best Practice standard has been greatly received by our clients and an increasing number of law firms have improved their performance and streamlined their practices as a result of its independent audits. We are delighted with the response and are now looking forward to working alongside firms that have achieved the Best Practice Standard, helping them to develop and provide further value from the LEAP offering.”