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Case study: Boutique law firm Managed Account for Probate

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THE CHALLENGE

Added risk and administrative burden of a client account

  • The law firm was hesitant to hold client funds via a client account due to the rising costs of team resource on non-billable tasks (cashier work, conducting due diligence, AML and KYC/B) as well as professional indemnity insurance (PII).
  • Risk of client money being sent to a fraudulent beneficiary or incorrect bank account and impact of penalties from non-compliance with SRA Account Rules was not something the law firm was comfortable with.
  • The administrative burden and time-sink of conducting due diligence, confirming the identities of beneficiaries of the Will in the UK and abroad especially the complexity of screening against sanctions lists would take too much time away from the team’s revenue generating activities.
  • Fluctuating FX and sourcing competitive rates for clients abroad was difficult and time consuming.
  • The law firm was struggling to manage release of protected funds before probate was granted for maintenance of the estate or bills that are in arrears.
THE SOLUTION

Outsourced managed account

Maximise efficiency

Wait times for clients are improved with Shieldpay’s ability to onboard the executor of the Will and set up their account before probate was granted.

Reduce risk of fraud

Client funds are and continue to be protected from the risk of beneficiary fraud with due diligence and KYC conducted on all parties and all payments made to verified bank details.

Remove administrative burden

Time spent on non-billable tasks, such as due diligence, was significantly reduced. This was driven by ability to upload all payer and beneficiary documents to Shieldpay’s portal for our team to conduct due diligence on all parties.

Reduced risk of non-compliance

By using a third-party managed account, the risk of the SRA taking regulatory action against the firm was significantly reduced.

International client satisfaction

International beneficiaries of the Will have been impressed with the competitive FX rate provided on payments through the Shieldpay Platform with no need for FX to be sourced separately.

Enhance client experience

Probate clients have been provided with the option for funds to be released for essential bills to maintain the estate ahead of probate being granted.

THE SOLUTION

How Shieldpay pays out compensation awards

Shieldpay offers a comprehensive payout solution for distributing compensation funds, facilitated through our Litigation Solution. For Pogust Goodhead’s class action cases, there are three key stages to paying out compensation awards:

  1. Shieldpay conducts due diligence and real-time bank account verification checks on the claimants, facilitated by our open banking partner DirectID.
  2. The total compensation award is paid into a safeguarded bank account where Shieldpay holds the Relevant Funds pursuant to the Payment Services Regulations 2017, Art 23 (3).
  3. The firm uses the digital platform to authorise payments out, transferring funds directly to the claimants’ provided bank accounts, swiftly and securely.
THE OUTCOME

Saved time and provided a superior customer journey

Over the past few months this boutique law firm has been using Shieldpay’s solutions to effectively manage probate. To-date this firm has held funds for 9 different probate projects with us and have allowed 71 Executors and Beneficiaries to receive their portion of the estate held in our safeguarded account. To date we have held ~£4.9M in a safeguarded account for this particular law firm.

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