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What does the Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) mean to you?

The Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) provides a recognised quality standard for firms of solicitors providing Residential Conveyancing services. The CQS is accredited by the Law Society, who represent solicitors in England and Wales.

In order to become a member of the scheme a firm must first undertake a rigorous application process and have the standard of their practice reviewed. Admission to the scheme is not automatic and applications can be rejected. If admitted, each firm must re-apply for membership every 12 months to ensure that the firm continues to meet the high standards required for membership.

The scheme requires its members to abide by certain timescales and practice management standards, including the use of the most up-to-date forms. Member firms must also follow the client service charter, which requires a high level of service to be provided, and a process known as the 'protocol' in relation to the progression of conveyancing work. All solicitors, or Licenced Conveyancers, dealing with conveyancing at a member firm are required to undertake mandatory training on the scheme to ensure that high standards are maintained.

The question is, what exactly does this all mean to you when you are considering instructing a firm of solicitors in the sale or purchase of a property?

In short, you can expect the following from a CQS accredited firm:-

  • Highly qualified lawyers with an established level of credibility (only firms of solicitors can become members of CQS)
  • A professional and efficient service
  • A clear explanation of the steps in the transaction
  • To be kept up-to-date on the progression of your sale and/or purchase
  • Your adviser being available to speak to you and respond promptly to your questions

In addition, the scheme is recognised by mortgage lenders, some lenders may require firms to be a member of CQS before they are able to deal with any related mortgage. The result of this is that if the firm you instruct is not CQS accredited, in some cases you may have to deal with a separate firm of solicitors in relation to any related mortgage.

Wards are proud to be a member of CQS as well as holding other accreditations. Membership indicates the efforts the firm has made, and continues to make, to strive to provide a high level of service to all of our clients.

So, the next time you are considering buying or selling a house, check to see whether the firm of solicitors you intend to instruct are CQS accredited.

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