First UK law firms secure conveyancing quality mark

Martin Elliott & Co Solicitors (Colchester), Boys & Maughan (Kent), Hamers Solicitors LLP (Hull) and PCM Solicitors LLP (London) have become the first ever practices to obtain CQS status since the scheme opened for applications in January.

The practices underwent rigorous assessment by the Law Society in order to secure CQS status.

Congratulating the first ever legal practices to secure CQS, Law Society President Linda Lee said 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 any one 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 said: “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 added: “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.”

Practices applying to join the scheme undergo a robust assessment and will be required to renew their membership of the scheme each year. The aim of the scheme is to reinforce consistency of standards throughout the conveyancing process, reduce the risk of fraud and give consumers peace of mind when it comes to home buying.

Land Registry has welcomed the scheme as a step in the right direction to recognising high standards in conveyancing.

Marco Pierleoni, chief land registrar and chief executive of Land Registry said: "Land Registry is committed to combating registration fraud and in September 2010 as part of our counter-measures we collaborated with the Law Society in producing a joint practice note to assist in identifying and preventing registration fraud.

“We continue to work with a wide variety of organisations in this area and welcome the introduction of the Conveyancing Quality Scheme as a further step in improving the conveyancing process."