Why do mortgage lenders require firms of solicitors to be Conveyancing Quality Scheme Accredited?
Holding CQS accreditation is now a core requirement for mortgage lenders when looking to appoint firms of solicitors onto their panels. Many law firms were removed from lenders’ panels as they were unable to comply with CQS standards and therefore could not obtain certification for their companies. The Law Society introduced this scheme in 2011 in order to regulate good practice management standards and have firms adhere to prudent and efficient conveyancing procedures. Ola Leslie Solicitors have been a member of this scheme since it was implemented and have renewed the membership every year since.
When granting CQS accreditation, the Law Society take the following into account (including but not limited to):
- That the solicitors firm are insured with a reputable professional indemnity insurance provider;
- If the individual solicitors within the firm have ever appeared before a Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal;
- If the solicitors firm have had any negligence claims made against them; and
- If the solicitors within their firm have carried out the mandatory yearly training which solicitors must carry out, and that this mandatory or additional training specifically relates to the conveyancing tests that the Law Society require for the yearly renewal to be sure that solicitors are up to date with current law and practise.
The scheme is not open to Licensed Conveyancers or Chartered Legal Executives.
The reason why mortgage lenders require firms who act for them to be CQS accredited is so that they can be sure that their interests are fully protected by having a knowledgeable and reliable solicitor act for them. It is also highly advisable for clients to choose a firm of solicitors who have this accreditation so that they can be sure that their matter is in safe hands and ensure that they don’t incur unnecessary expense when they realise part way through their conveyancing matter that their lawyer cannot act for their mortgage lender.
Clients aren’t always able to look into a law firm’s history in terms of negligence claims so this accreditation provides some reassurance that their matter will be carried out diligently. Before instructing a law firm, whether you have found them on google, by a recommendation from a friend or by a referral by your mortgage broker or estate agent, you should check if they possess CQS accreditation. Mortgage brokers and estate agents may not always know about this. Lenders who require firms to be on this scheme include Santander, Nationwide (and The Mortgage Works (TMW)), HSBC, Natwest and Leeds Building Society. There may be more lenders who require this which we are unaware of as we have always been members of most high street lenders’ panels.
More information is available via the Law Society’s website http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/support-services/accreditation/conveyancing-quality-scheme/
If you need a solicitor to act for you who is Conveyancing Quality Accredited please call us on 0207 183 0084 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org for a fixed fee conveyancing quotation and to ask us about any reservations or queries that you may have; we are always happy to assist.
Ayesha Leslie, Partner
Ola Leslie Solicitors