Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Is Your Firm Ready for a SRA AML Audit?

The SRA have recently warned that it will be writing to a “large number” (400) of firms in the coming weeks requiring evidence of compliance with the 2017 Money Laundering Regulations. The likelihood is that firms with a focus on conveyancing will be targeted.

The regulator confirmed that in the last five years, sixty cases linked to potential improper money movements have been referred to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. The stark warning is “Those who do not treat the Regulations seriously should expect similar treatment.”

Law firms making proper and full use of COMPLETIONmonitor’s AML Search and associated bespoke risk alerts have little to fear from an audit.

Delivering comprehensive reporting and dashboard functionality, COMPLETIONmonitor enables MLROs and authorised officers to quickly assess the overall effectiveness of the AML policies. The filtering functionality provides a firm with tools to identify, red-flag or block suspicious fraudulent and money laundering activity. Firms can configure and selectively apply scenarios to different client categories. The technology enables the firm to filter alerts based on various parameters, view certain background information on each client, delegate analysis and supervise alert resolution. Alerts can be configured on the basis of clients, counter-parties, regions, employees and departments.

For law firms with more than two or three staff and more than a handful of clients, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to satisfy the 2017 regulations and monitor compliance solely using paper-based records.

Lawyers can certainly not afford to be complacent – the conveyancing industry is a primary target and firms must be vigilant and prepared to demonstrate compliance or face serious consequences.

Property law solicitors who have not yet done so need to get their houses in order as soon as possible.

Lexsure offer COMPLETIONmonitor firms a free consultation twice a year on the various optional facilities within the software to assist in combating fraud and money laundering.

COMPLETIONmonitor firms can book a free online demonstration or training on the AML features here

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Reports on Title - How Much Time Could You be Saving?

Do you shut yourself off in a quiet room at the office for hours a week or come into work early to work on this critical and time consuming document?


Is it possible that you are wasting valuable time?  What a sad depressing thought. Surely there has to be a better way to generate a Report on Title.

Lexsure have created a calculator to help you add up all the hours and assess how much time the e-ROT might be able to save you.The table below shows how much time firms are spending based on feedback to date:




Use the calculator to get an approximation of time that you may be able to save,


Lexsure’s e-ROT Brings increased protection, consistency and efficiency to building the most important  - yet tedious and time-consuming - document in a purchase transaction.


The e-ROT webinars are taking place later this month and in March. You can book here.

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Conveyancers Up Their Game to Cope with Market Slowdown


Conveyancers have experienced their first significant dip in workload for a decade, providing further evidence of a marked slowdown in the housing market.

Firms are now having to shift gears.

For the last few years the primary concern of conveyancing practices was how to cope with the volume of instructions. Particular attention was given to improve efficiencies. 

Focus is now shifting towards how to create, win and convert more leads and enquiries. 

The two obvious places to look when it comes to increasing leads is  Google via ‘pay per click’ or paying estate agents/brokers for leads. Both options are extremely expensive. Firms will often expend lots of time and money before eventually realising that experimenting in these two areas yields inadequate return on investment. 

Ideally, word-of-mouth recommendations and repeat clients would support firms through lean periods. Yet for many, when the market takes a turn for the worst, repeat clients are rarely enough to sustain the firm without making redundancies. 

Progressive firms, mostly with Business Development Managers, take the time to scour the market and discover cost-effective ways to find new leads and instructions. 

These managers have been flocking towards LenderPanel.com who have witnessed a 400% increase in the last two months. 

LenderPanel.com is an online tool enabling borrowers and estate agents to know which firms have been approved by the lender to act. Approximately 80,000 searches were conducted last year by visitors looking to find and appoint a lawyer. Listings are displayed by location to those firms nearest to the borrower. 

The rapid growth in law firms listing themselves on the directory service is driven by firms wishing to reach borrowers at a key decision point in the conveyancing process. 

Most firms have spent significant time and energy to join a lender’s panel or retain their status. It is essential, especially in tougher times, to capitalise on your panel membership. 

For as little as £10 a month you can gain a significant competitive advantage !