Conveyancing Quality Scheme

Homebuyers looking for conveyancing deals may come across a new logo in the windows of property solicitors and also on websites offering conveyancing services.

The CQS logo is a sign that the firm or online conveyancing solicitor has been accredited by the Law Society to provide a high-quality conveyancing service with excellent customer care.

CQS actually stands for Conveyancing Quality Scheme and was introduced by the Law Society in response to the rise in residential conveyancing scams online and growing competition within conveyancing, as online conveyancers seized a large share of the conveyancing market.

Lenders like high street banks and building societies also set up their own panels of conveyancing firms and some lenders require customers seeking a mortgage offer to use a member of their own conveyancing panel as part of the mortgage offer.

However, homebuyers can still elect to choose their own conveyancing firm, although they may have to pay their own conveyancing fees as well as those of the lender if they do.

For homebuyers seeking to use their own firm of conveyancing solicitors either on the high street or online, choosing a conveyancing company displaying the CQS logo in its window or on its website means the firm promises to provide an efficient conveyancing service adhering to best practice standards as set out by the Law Society.

Conveyancing firms are required by law to maintain client confidentiality, but current money laundering regulations also mean that they have to seek the consent of clients before passing on any essential information to the authorities.

Data protection is also paramount in a climate where online conveyancing scams have sadly flourished, the Law Society has taken a robust stance against conveyancing firms who have scammed customers, but sometimes online companies may offer the appearance of being UK based and offering a reputable service (usually involving an unbelievably cheap conveyancing deal); but may actually be a scam based overseas and therefore beyond the strong arm of the Law Society of England and Wales.

The CQS logo is a symbol which consumers can trust, firms of conveyancing solicitors accredited under CQS are required to sign a practice agreement and membership of the CQS is updated every year to make sure standards are maintained. In the event a CQS firm fails to maintain standards, the Law Society is able to terminate its membership of the scheme "on reasonable grounds" offering an extra incentive for member firms to uphold the standards required of them.

The practice agreement also provides for member firms of the CQS to train staff and also offer further training as required by the Law Society. This means that CQS member firms have to make sure their conveyancing solicitors and junior staff carry out the services they offer to current standards of best practice and keep up to date with important changes in conveyancing and property law.

The Law Society sets out four main standards of service for CQS members in the practice agreement, which requires a member firm to:

  • "At all times conduct itself in a manner that supports and promotes the integrity of the CQS and its brand as a mark of quality in the Residential Conveyancing market.
  • Comply with the Conveyancing Protocol from the date of accreditation to the Scheme.
  • Comply with the Client Service Charter from the date of accreditation to the Scheme.
  • Comply with the Core Practice Management Standards and if not already in place work towards their implementation or any instruction as to the same from the Law Society."
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The conveyancing protocol sets out how conveyancing services should be conducted so that all member firms of the CQS offer a standardised service to residential conveyancing clients, whether they are buying or selling a property.

The Client Service Charter sets out very clearly the service you can expect from a member firm of the CQS and a copy of the charter should be available from your CQS conveyancing firm. The main points of the CQS Client Services Charter include:

What you can expect from us:

  • When you contact us to discuss your sale or purchase we will explain clearly the steps in the process and what you can expect from your solicitor
  • When you contact us to discuss your sale or purchase we will explain clearly the steps in the process and what you can expect from your solicitor
  • We will keep you informed of progress in your sale or purchase
  • We will work in line with the quality standards of the Law Society's CQS.

We will:

  • Treat you fairly
  • Be polite and professional
  • Respond promptly to your enquiries
  • Tell you about any problems as soon as we are aware of them
  • Ask for your feedback on our service

The Law Society also deals with any concerns or complaints you might have about one of its CQS firms of conveyancing solicitors, so you are never left to deal with problems by yourself if something does go wrong with a CQS conveyancing firm. The email address for complaints is

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