At the start of November the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) announced that they would introduce their deadline for price and service transparency so that it would marry up with the Council of Licensed Conveyancers’ (CLC) proposed date of December 6th.
Further to this announcement, regulated firms were told that from Spring 2019, they would need to display a digital badge on their website.
Overwhelmed by the demand for the badge, the SRA will release advice and instructions for firms that would like to display the badge from today.
As cyber fraud increases, and more law firms are facing fraudulent replicant websites, it is thought that the digital badge could be a step forward in ensuring consumers are using the correct firm; decreasing fraud through bogus websites in the process.
Recently, the SRA updated their website to warn people about a fraudulent firm called “Winston Hausfeld Law Firm, using the web address www․winstonhausfeld․com.
The SRA recognised that it authorises and regulates a genuine firm called Hausfeld & Co LLP, which the fraudsters have copied in the hope of conning the public and law firms alike.
The new digital badge, made using technology by Yoshki, has also provided similar digital authentication to the Council of Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) and the Institute of Paralegals.
The Smart Verification Logo technology will mean that any consumer clicking on the badge from an SRA regulated firm will be sent to the SRA’s website that will confirm that the firm is regulated by the SRA. This will provide an additional layer of peace of mind for the consumer that the firm they are using is genuine.
Additionally, Yoshki Radar uses image recognition of the badge and will be able to identify any site using the badge that is not regulated by the SRA. Radar response will then automatically send take down requests to both the domain owner and their IS provider.
This should reduce bogus websites that pollute the legal sector.
The badge has also been robustly tested with 550 consumers, all of which feel comforted and more confident in using legal firms displaying the badge. All of the people surveyed viewed the badge as a standard of excellence with consumers more likely to connect a firm displaying the badge with expertise, experience and high service standards.
To use the badge from tomorrow, you will need to add your website and firm details to mySRA.
Whilst many firms are beginning to adjust to the new competitive market, ensuring that you use the digital badge could be the thing that sets you apart from the competition.
Are you using the digital badge already? Do you think that this could reduce fraud in the conveyancing sector?