Kidd Rapinet place beating bogus firms at the top of their 2015 agenda

by Paul Taylor on February 10, 2015

As a regular user of the Lawyer Checker Account and Entity Screen search, Kidd Rapinet LLP is prioritising the security of its clients’ money within purchase transactions.

As advised by Lawyer Checker, all fee earners at Kidd Rapinet have been instructed to ensure that they obtain the recipient solicitors’ client account details at the earliest juncture in the transaction and as part of the process of verifying the instruction.

Why do this?

Conducting the search on the recipient firm later on in the transaction – for example just before exchange of contracts – could throw up many problems if the account number is found to have little or no transactional history.  Safeguarding client money has become an intrinsic part of the process for Kidd Rapinet.

As senior partner Paul Taylor explains:

“Here at KR we are keen to adopt a pro-active approach when it comes to looking after client money. This is why we have incorporated a Lawyer Checker search into each and every one of our transactions, where monies are to be remitted to another firm, regardless of how well we know that firm.  If any firm refuses to provide its client account details, our policy is to not remit monies under any circumstance. It is imperative to us that we have a satisfactory Lawyer Checker search which will enable the team, in consultation with me as Compliance Officer Legal Practice, to make an informed decision.”

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About Lawyer Checker

A well-known risk management tool; Lawyer Checker demonstrates whether or not an account has had a track record of successful use within conveyancing.

21st century conveyancing transactions run the inherent risk of a cyber-attack and identity theft is rife within the industry.

In 2014 the industry put this area at the top of their agenda. Over 549 reports of bogus law firms were reported in just one year; Lawyer Checker searches are now the go-to check for over 400 firms before they send funds.

The simple checks allow firms to safeguard themselves and their clients against the many dangers involved in remission of funds.

AES Account and Entity Screen – What it does:

Step 1: LC checks the account details provided against its database to give an indication of whether the account has a track record of successful use in conveyancing transactions.

Step 2 (where a ‘good’ track record is not found): The LC team conducts live checks on over 10 databases providing further research on the firm associated with the account being checked.

Due diligence requires all solicitors and conveyancers to check the firm they are sending monies to. Checking the roll of solicitors is no longer enough.