The Council of Property Search Organisations (CoPSO) has appointed James Sherwood-Rogers as Executive Chairman. He will take up the newly created post with immediate effect and will be working closely with the CoPSO board members to drive forward its agenda for 2012.
Sherwood-Rogers has previously worked for Landmark and had held the position of Non-Executive Chairman of CoPSO in the past. In order to support COPSO’s ambitious plans for the year ahead, the appointment of an independent, Executive Chairman was deemed necessary.
The new role, which replaces the voluntary Chairman post, will ensure that the trade association is guaranteed dedicated hours from an experienced Chairman. This time will be invested in helping to raise the profile of CoPSO and its role within the industry, as well as further promoting the benefits of the Search Code to both the lending and conveyancing communities.
James Sherwood-Rogers said: “CoPSO has an essential role to play in delivering effective conveyancing, by setting standards for all due diligence searches, which are at the heart of any home buying decision. COPSO has already done an excellent job in raising standards across the industry, and has recently invested heavily in additional resources to ensure subscribers to the Code are meeting the higher standards required.
“A growing number of lenders already require that their conveyancers only commission due diligence search reports from Search Code subscribers. However, there are still a number of those that have yet to realise the risks of not doing so — something that needs to change in order to properly protect consumers, lenders and, of course, solicitors. We are looking forward to working with all parts of the industry to minimise risks in conveyancing for all involved.”
Mike Ockenden, Chief Executive of CoPSO, commented: “We are very pleased to have Sherwood-Rogers on board as Executive Chairman. James brings with him a unique wealth of experience and expertise in conveyancing searches and the wider property market.”
CoPSO was founded in 2003 by six leading companies in the search industry. It was set up to provide a professional voice for companies producing property search reports, while driving forward quality standards within the sector. Today, CoPSO members produce 80% (by volume) of all searches produced in the market.
The Search Code is owned and maintained by CoPSO and has been designed to provide protection for homebuyers, sellers, estate agents, conveyancers and mortgage lenders, who rely on the information included in property search reports. The Code, which is enforced by the Property Codes Compliance Board (PCCB), sets out minimum standards, which organisations compiling and selling search reports have to meet. All subscribers to the Code are listed on a register of subscribing firms, maintained by the PCCB and all display the trusted Search Code logo prominently on all search reports they produce.