Searches UK, one of the leading providers of searches to UK conveyancing practitioners, knew that its business deserved recognition for its commitment towards its risk and compliance obligations, which is why in 2011 they approached Legal Eye Limited
, respected industry leaders specialising in best practice, risk management and compliance services to the legal services market, to see if they could be put forward for a formal assessment.
Legal Eye were more than happy to assess Searches UK who were applauded for having high levels of risk and compliance procedures in place. However, Legal Eye were unable to award the much sought after Lexcel accreditation to Searches UK as it is only available to solicitors practices.
Jaunita Gobby, Director and Founder of Legal Eye Limited, realised that there was obviously a need for a recognised quality standard for firms within the legal services market other than solicitors, and set about working on the Legal Eye Quality Standard, which was launched in 2012.
Suitable for solicitors, licensed conveyancers and providers of legal information services throughout the UK, the Legal Eye Quality Standard is the first assessment scheme to address those rules and regulations which are over and above the traditional quality standards, which include:
- The E-Commerce Directive
- The Bribery Act 2010
- The Equality Act 2010
- Referral and Fee Sharing arrangements
- Publicity requirements
- TCF (Treating Customers Fairly)
To achieve the Legal Eye Quality Standard, Searches UK were rigorously assessed by the Legal Eye team and were required to demonstrate fully documented audit trails, internal and external staff training records on legal requirements as well as products and services offered, regular search agent reviews, a full complement of policies and procedures setting out risks and systems and procedures for avoiding and dealing with the same, etc.
Andrew Stenning, Managing Director of Searches UK said, “As a firm specialising in the provision of residential and commercial searches, we knew we would be unable to apply for Lexcel, which is a widely respected quality kite-mark among our clients, denoting high levels of risk and compliance systems and procedures. However, we knew that we deserved to be recognised and we asked Legal Eye to assess our business anyway, with a view to being signed off as “working in accordance with the Lexcel standard”. We were delighted to have been applauded for having such robust systems in place back in July 2012.
“Now that Legal Eye have devised a Quality Mark for firms who cannot apply for Lexcel, but who still want to be assessed and recognised, we feel that we have not only helped improve our own position within our industry, but have hopefully helped open the doors for other legal industry businesses to also gain the recognition, by a reputable and professional firm such as Legal Eye, that they too deserve. We are delighted to have been instrumental in helping this to happen and very proud to be the first search company in the country to have put ourselves forward for assessment and to have been approved.
“Searches UK have really paved the way for property professionals to be assessed and recognized for their commitment to risk and compliance, and we are delighted not only to have been the first search company to have put itself forward for assessment, but to have been awarded the Legal Eye Quality Standard for the second year running.”
For more information on Legal Eye’s Quality Standard, or to request a copy of our award, telephone 0845 2411 815 or visit www.searchesuk.co.uk