Eclipse Legal Systems, announced integration with the new ‘Lawyer Checker‘ service last summer and since then the Lawyer Checker service has gone from strength to strength. An easy to use online service, Lawyer Checker allows a purchase conveyancer to gather further information on the vendor’s conveyancer. Uniquely, the service identifies if bank account details provided by the vendor’s conveyancer have a track record of use in conveyancing and large transactions.
In business since 2011, with a historical database of Land Registry transactions from 2009 to present, Lawyer Checker was born from a need to avoid a growing trend for fraud, whereby a fictitious firm, or disqualified firm, or even an employee infiltrating a transaction fraudulently, pose as a legitimate conveyancer. Some fraudsters have even gained a badge of legitimacy by going as far as to enter their details into the SRA list of solicitor’s practices, meaning that in 2012 the SRA had to release this warning:
Lawyer Checker analyses a database of law firm client account numbers to see if the account requesting funds is one that is ‘known’, or if the details appear to be new (or infrequently used). A criminal may well be able to clone a person, a firm and use a property that is not even for sale, but they cannot clone an account number. They have to have their own if they want to steal the money.
The service provides further checks on over ten databases including Land Registry previous transaction data, CQS list and FCA Registers to provide a comprehensive report on the entity associated with that account where a result is returned as infrequent or unknown.
Eclipse’s Proclaim Case and Practice Management Solutions now enable conveyancers to action a Lawyer Checker search at the click of a button – the search can even be triggered automatically as part of a workflow process, at pre-defined points. The results of the check are then used by the individual conveyancer to judge the risk of sending funds to the suggested account.
In an era of cyber fraud and ever increasing communication via email and telephone rather than face to face, Lawyer Checker offers extra due diligence to today’s conveyancer.
With lawyers bound by Outcomes Focussed Regulations, Lawyer Checker gives conveyancers enhanced due diligence; by knowing that client money is going to a legitimate source conveyancers ensure the protection of not only their client, but their own adherence to Rule 10 and significantly their firm’s brand and reputation.
Charged as a small disbursement of £10 +vat to your client, the potential saving of hundreds of thousands of pounds for both your client and their lender is significant.