Lender Panel membership is often dependant on a firm obtaining or retaining its CQS accreditation. Failure to do so would result in fees from Residential Conveyancing being lost and clients having to be referred to another firm for mortgagee work.
Historically, firms who were LEXCEL accredited could largely rely on that accreditation to retain CQS. However in 2019, the CQS Core Practice Management Standards (CPMS) for the first, diverged from the LEXCEL quality standard and demanded additional policies and procedures for CQS.
On 1st May 2022, the Law Society took that to the next level by adding several additional “procedures” e.g. in relation to HMLR avoidable requisitions to the CQS CPMS. Even firms that upgraded their procedures in 2019 would not pass a CQS audit without additional work on their systems, policies and procedures.
Following the ASA decision in 2017 about the marketing claim by the Law Society that:
“All Law Society Conveyancing Quality Scheme firms go through rigorous examination and testing to demonstrate that they have a high level of knowledge, skills, experience and practice”.
The Law Society flagged an intention to audit firms for CQS compliance. It seems that this plan was interrupted by the COVID-19 lockdowns in England & Wales.
With COVID restrictions now behind us we would expect the Law Society to conduct an increased number of CQS audits of firms over the coming year.
Contact CPM21 now
- Cpm21 can help Conveyancing Firms comply with all the new requirements.
- We have a detailed knowledge of the new mandatory requirements and can help you put in place the necessary procedures.
- In an extremely busy residential conveyancing we can release your fee earners to do what they do best … deliver quality conveyancing services and earn fees for the firm.
- We can start by preparing a CQS 2022 “gap analysis” report for you.
- We can help train your Conveyancing Department.
- We can help you set up the necessary file procedures.
- We have template forms and precedents to help you.
- We can check if your fee earners are complying with the new Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Regulations and the LSAG AML Guidance.
Don’t wait for an audit notification. Act now and avoid the stress of waiting and wondering whether you will pass this critical audit.
Want to know more, organise a free, without obligation appointment with CPM21’s Law Society approved Lexcel consultants?