Barnetts Solicitors has become the first volume conveyancer in England & Wales to secure Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) status – the Law Society's new home buying quality mark. The news comes as the Council of Mortgage Lenders reports a pick up in approved mortgages in February.
 
While many firms have so far been accredited and nearing 800 applied to join the scheme, Merseyside firm Barnetts Solicitors is the first volume firm to secure CQS accreditation. Richard Barnett, Senior Partner at Barnetts Solicitors, said “CQS has been designed to be obtainable for a range of business models and while Barnetts Solicitors is the first volume conveyancer in England & Wales to obtain CQS status there have been sole practitioners and mid-sized firms who have also gained CQS accreditation. We are delighted to have secured CQS accreditation. Not only is it recognition of the high standards we apply to conveyancing services, it is a signal to home buyers and lenders that we provide that level of service.”
 
The CQS scheme requires practices to undergo a strict assessment, compulsory training, self reporting, random audits and annual reviews in order to maintain CQS status. It is open only to members of the Law Society and to those who meet the demanding standards the scheme will set and has the support of the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the Building Societies Association, and the Association of British Insurers.
 
CML has reported that lending has picked up with loans to first time buyers rising 13% to 12,400. There was also an 8% rise in the overall number of home loans made in February. Richard Barnett added “It would be premature to say the housing market is well on the road to recovery, but first time buyers and those already on the housing ladder who are seeking conveyancing services now have the option, in CQS, of choosing a new type of conveyancer which offers a standard of excellence in what is, for most people, the most important purchase of their lives.”