The climate for law firms has been changing with money laundering and cybercrime reports increasing year on year. For example, A report from the Solicitors Regulatory Authority revealed that money laundering reports from law firms are up 67% over the past 15 months. In addition to this cybercrime is also up 50% year-on-year, reaching a record level of 157 cases in 2017 with £20m of client money lost across two years. It is clear the industry is facing some major challenges in these two areas. However, the technology is on hand to help and firms such as Shieldplay are an example of a firm looking to make firms more secure.
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How Shieldplay works:
Shieldplay is one of the firms looking to use fintech developments to aid firms at risk of cybercrime. Shieldplay’s technology mitigates the risk of this happening, as the platform verifies all parties involved with robust bank-grade identity checks. Client money is then held in the secure Shieldpay vault and is only released when authorised by both sides, or at a pre-agreed milestone throughout the legal process.
Third party managed accounts are being adopted for on-going legal services as firms are encouraged not to handle client money by insurers and regulators alike. This shift, coupled with the demand for a digital third party managed accounts, has seen a number of law firms already join Shieldpay, including Evolve Family Law, The Legal Director and Lexoo as a legal marketplace.
Tom Squire, Enterprise Director Shieldpay, comments: “The handling of client money used to be a time consuming and archaic practice. Our new digital solution means that firms and their clients have full transparency over the status of client money at any point in time. Traditional payments processors often came at a high cost and with less visibility, but our custom-built platform means that firms can reduce costs and provide a transparent solution that will benefit their clients.”
Robin Charrot, Co-Founder at Evolve Family Law, comments: “We’re excited to be one of the first in the industry to partner with Shieldpay and its innovative digital solution. While the traditional use of escrow or third party managed accounts is slow and expensive, Shieldpay’s digital solution is an industry game changer that means we can provide increased visibility to our clients over the status of their funds.”
James Mallender, Director at The Legal Director, comments: “Working with Shieldpay’s instant digital escrow facility means that our clients, whether they are buying or selling, can trade with ease, speed and confidence with real-time visibility over the status of their money. Shieldpay is a welcome innovation to the industry that will benefit our firm and clients alike.”
Daniel van Binsbergen, CEO of Lexoo, comments: “As the world’s biggest legal marketplace, we are committed to offering our clients and lawyers cutting-edge solutions that enable cost-effective, transparent and secure transactions to take place on the Lexoo platform. Shieldpay’s solution is a perfect fit for our platform, and we’re looking forward to rolling out this offering to our 750+ lawyers operating in over 51 jurisdictions.”