South West law firms mitigate fraud risk with Lawyer Checker

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14 November 2014


Two of the largest legal providers in the South West, Awdry Bailey and Douglas and Star Legal Solicitors, both synonymous with excellence, have announced that they are committed to having Lawyer Checker as an integral part of their residential conveyancing package.

Both firms pride themselves on offering excellent customer service; each firm is therefore committed to having Lawyer Checker, and its risk management product; Account and Entity Screen (AES) search, as a key part of their stringent conveyancing processes

Sending a strong message out to all consumers of conveyancing within the residential sector, these firms are keen to protect their clients from unscrupulous individuals who are becoming increasingly sophisticated in the art of solicitor identity theft; both the individual and the firm. The SRA’s latest Risk Outlook paying testament to this with 93% of reports made from January to August 2014 on the issue of identity theft being rated as red or amber.

Built in the wake of increasing conveyancer vendor fraud, the Lawyer Checker database has been created to demonstrate whether or not an account has had a track record of successful use within conveyancing.

Chris Harris, director of Lawyer Checker explains how this will benefit the two firms’ clients: “Think about it, if you could be told that the account number where your money, in many cases hundreds and hundreds of thousands of pounds, has been used frequently by the vendor law firm and is constantly subject to such transactions, surely you would be reassured by this fact?

“Conversely, if your conveyancer was able to discover that the account number for the vendor conveyancer firm is either not known, or at the very best used infrequently, your conveyancer would then be armed to carry out further checks  to ensure your money is going to the right place. I am guessing most individuals would much prefer this to be the process of their Residential Conveyancer.”

Mr Harris also commented on the collaboration: “We are thrilled here at Lawyer Checker to have such prominent firms from this area embrace Lawyer Checker in the way that both Awdry Bailey and Douglas and Star Legal Solicitors have.

“In their implementation of the Lawyer Checker software these firms and their conveyancers are ensuring that they are offering all of their clients across all their offices the very best chance of protecting their mortgage funds and hard earned cash.

“Following the SRA’s Autumn Update on 5th November the regulator made it clear that the more conveyancers carrying out effective best practice, such as implementing Lawyer Checker alongside the more conventional checks, the better.”

The Lawyer Checker Director, a leading speaker in the field of conveyancing goes on to say, “This year the number of SRA Scam Alerts has risen dramatically from 102 in 2013 to 156 so far and each new alert identifies a new way that criminals are stealing the identity of firms. We have to make a stand as a profession into the future; we owe it to ourselves, our businesses and our clients.”

“Due diligence requires all solicitors and conveyancers to check the firm that they are sending monies to. The SRA’s Autumn Risk Outlook proves that checking the roll of solicitors is no longer enough. Both Awdry Bailey and Douglas and Star Legal Solicitors have recognised this and the need to both reassure the conveyancer themselves and the purchaser who they represent.

“Lawyer Checker offers peace of mind to both the legal practitioner and the client, whether borrower or lender. Its growth over 2014 demonstrates that more and more law firms are looking to reduce the uncertainty in this uncertain era for conveyancers and purchasers alike.”



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