What is the Conveyancing Quality Scheme and what does it mean for you?
To help you shortlist your choice of solicitors it would be useful for you to understand what the Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) is, and how it may be of benefit to you to choose a firm of solicitors who are a part of this optional Scheme.
You may have seen on solicitors’ websites, their shop front, or perhaps within the footer of their email (if you have already made contact) a ‘CQS’ logo. This logo is their ‘badge’ confirming that the firms service to clients is in line with the quality standards put into place by the Law Society and, is also a mark of their expertise and reliability in conveyancing.
CQS is a recognised standard for Solicitors Regulation Authority regulated firms who conduct residential conveyancing transactions within England and Wales. To remain a part of this Scheme, and to keep their badge, firms must undertake assessments and compulsory training sessions each year to ensure that they maintain the required standards.
By way of background, the Law Society introduced CQS back in 2010 to enhance the effectiveness of the conveyancing process and as a way for firms to demonstrate best practice in the competitive marketplace of conveyancing.
In 2022, the Law Society updated the CQS standards in their quest to continue to improve standards and professionalism. An updated ‘Core Practice Management Standards’ (CPMS) was introduced. For you, as a client, some of the benefits of the revised CPMS include;
- At the outset of the transaction, you will be provided with a breakdown of any stamp duty land tax calculation.
- Further advanced checks are undertaken to assist in tackling property and mortgage fraud.
- If your transaction involves a leasehold property; there are enhanced requirements that you will be provided with clear and accessible written information regarding the lease and any payments that may be due thereunder such as ground rent and service charges.
You can expect a firm regulated by CQS to have the expertise to deliver a service of quality residential conveyancing advice and that they will follow the standardised process to manage and reduce risks within your transaction. The Scheme also requires firms to be transparent and to disclose to you early on within the transaction what you can expect when it comes to the fees payable – no one wants to find themselves in a position where they receive an invoice for hidden fees on the day of completion!
Charlotte Griffiths, Residential Conveyancing Executive, said:
“I have recently joined Mullis & Peake LLP having spent nine years undertaking conveyancing at my previous CQS accredited firm. Joining another CQS accredited firm was important for me as I have seen the benefits both to professionals and most importantly, to clients.”