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Legal sector to benefit from fintech revolution led by Shieldpay

Open Banking set to revolutionise the way consumers handle money, finds Network Research
  • Global fintech scale-up Shieldpay is set to transform the legal sector’s handling of client money
  • Shieldpay’s digital third party managed account solution offers full transparency on the status of client money with real-time notifications that will benefit both lawyers and their clients alike

Shieldpay is set to transform the UK’s legal industry with its fully digital third-party managed accounts.

Traditional providers are slow and expensive.

Client money is often left in a ‘black hole’ leaving firms and clients in the dark about the location of funds and the status of the transaction. Shieldpay’s easy to use transparent payment solution means firms will no longer be restricted by traditional banking hours or have to complete lengthy paperwork to set up transactions and release client money. Shieldpay’s patented digital payments process increases the efficiency and transparency of the handling of client money, offering full visibility on the status of funds, with real-time notifications that will benefit both lawyers and their clients alike.

A report from the Solicitors Regulation Authority[1] revealed that money laundering reports from law firms are up 67% over the past 15 months. Cyber-crime 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. Shieldpay’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.”

As well as managing client money for law firms, Shieldpay’s instant digital escrow facility can accelerate multi-million-pound M&A deals and real estate transactions, with Shieldpay having powered the UK’s first fully digital real estate transaction in recent months.

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