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What is the CQS Conveyancing Quality Scheme for solicitors?

(Last Updated: 06/02/2023)
3 min read
The Law Society set up its Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) accreditation to indicate, for customers wishing to instruct conveyancing solicitors, those practices which it considers offer the highest standards in this legal area. The idea behind CQS is to give greater reassurance for everyone in the conveyancing process confirming that the solicitor providing the service can deliver the appropriate quality of service and level of insurance.

Read on for an explanation of how the scheme works and why it is an essential mark of quality when you come to making a decision about which solicitors to use for your conveyancing.

Please note that SAM Conveyancing only employs solicitor firms which have attained the Conveyancing Quality Scheme accreditation.

What is The Law Society?

The Law Society was once both regulator and solicitor manager for solicitors in England & Wales; however it now represents and promotes solicitors, leaving the Solicitor Regulatory Authority (SRA) to oversee all regulatory and compliance issues for the delivery of legal services by solicitors.

Falling conveyancing standards

Prior to the establishment of the CQS accreditation, the Law Society had received many complaints about the quality of service delivered by solicitors offering conveyancing. It is well understood that hold-ups and failures during a house move can be very stressful for customers and can also cause financial loss. The Law Society brought CQS in to give the public reassurance of an agreed standard of service that they’ll receive from a solicitor with this accreditation.

The CQS service levels

In order for a solicitor to attain accreditation they must pass a rigorous test by The Law Society for Probity and Quality.

Probity (makes up 75% of the pass rate)
The section on Probity will comprise three sub-sections, The Practice, the Partners and other Staff at the firm, and Consistency of answers in the preceding two sub-sections.

  • The Practice
This sub-section on the practice will look at the longevity and stability of the firm, its financial position, its policies and processes and its ability to get PI insurance.

  • The Partners and all Relevant Members of Staff
This sub-section will look verify the identity of and look at the at the professional record of the Senior Responsible Officer along with his CPD record and at the information that he provides about other partners and all Relevant Members of Staff within the firm.

  • Consistency
This sub-section will be used to cross reference information supplied on the application form with other information, either public or otherwise. For example the disciplinary record of the partners and Relevant Members of Staff will be checked against the SRA regulatory decisions pages.

Quality (makes up 25% of the pass rate)

  • The Practice
This sub-section will look at the processes and procedures for the four Core Practice Standards in relation to conveyancing.

It is clear that the CQS mark ensures the conveyancing solicitor has the right people to provide the service and safe processes and procedures to deliver it.

CQS is the mortgage lender’s choice

More and more, mortgage lenders are requesting that their chosen solicitor to act for them should be a CQS solicitor. This is making it harder for some of the smaller non-accredited solicitor practices to act for buyers on a property transaction if they choose a mortgage lender that requires the CQS.

SAM Conveyancing Solicitors

All of the solicitors who work on the SAM Conveyancing panel carry the CQS accreditation and work on all major mortgage lender panels.

Andrew Boast of Sam Conveyancing
Written by:
Andrew started his career in 2000 working within conveyancing solicitor firms and grew hands-on knowledge of a wide variety of conveyancing challenges and solutions. After helping in excess of 50,000 clients in his career, he uses all this experience within his article writing for SAM, mainstream media and his self published book How to Buy a House Without Killing Anyone.
Caragh Bailey, Digital Marketing Manager
Reviewed by:

Caragh is an excellent writer in her own right as well as an accomplished copy editor for both fiction and non-fiction books, news articles and editorials. She has written extensively for SAM for a variety of conveyancing, survey and mortgage related articles.

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