Technology is having a profound impact at all levels of our society. Nowhere is this truer than in the UK legal sector, where this is a live debate about the merits of introducing new technological solutions versus the risk of moving beyond established practices.
This point is evidenced by the proactive approach from The Law Society of Scotland who recently launched a new specialism of Accredited Legal Technologist which recognises of a range of new roles within the legal sector, such as legal process engineer, legal analyst and legal technologist.
As these roles are embedded into organisational structures, it will be interesting to follow progress to see what operational efficiencies are realised.
One innovation in England & Wales, enabled by the new Solicitors Standards and Regulations (STaRS), will see the formal recognition of Third-Party Managed Accounts (TPMAs). From 25th November 2019, SRA Rule 11 offer supporting guidance for the use of TPMAs.
“Used strategically, TPMAs stand to provide an innovative method
of driving operational efficiencies whilst offering
clear visibility over transactions”
Speed and certainly of completions:
The full visibility of a chain’s status and the simultaneity of transfers enabled by TPMAs provide greater certainty that transactions will complete, and remove the risk that transactions at the end of a conventional chain would fail to complete
Moving day efficiencies:
An increased number of law firms provide client portal or mobile applications for clients to follow the status of their transaction, but these are not connected to the flow of monies. The use of TPMAs can bring real time notifications to all firms and clients that completion has happened triggering the release of the keys from the estate agent and the departure or arrival of the removal van.
Clearing the ‘To Do List’:
Many cash room staff will resonate with the frustration dealing with anxious fee earners demanding updates on whether funds have moved as directed. Introducing real-time notification of funds transfers can return valued time helping the cash room to concentrate on outstanding tasks. An example could be chasing outstanding payments which serves to improve the firms cashflow and make it easier for the firm to meet its financial operational obligations.
To find out how a TPMAs could work for your business, Shieldpay, the leading provider of TPMAs, are offering a series of webinars, get in touch to find out more.
This article first appeared in a special edition of the Institute For Legal Finance and Management Legal Abacus magazine published in September 2019.