Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Why the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme is the final nail in the coffin for the high street conveyancing solicitor


 Buying a home can be stressful and often leads to anxiety.    Those like myself who work in the industry understand this and though we work hard to take steps to ensure the stress is kept to its minimum, we are often left feeling equally frustrated. 

Most solicitors working in this sector are working 70 hour weeks plus if not longer trying to make some money out of what has fast become a very competitive and in the main profit losing area of legal work.

Those who understand conveyancing will know that given the antiquated system for conveying property in which we are forced to operate the only way to stand any chance of making some money is to commoditize the product, keep the price low and have in place good technology.    At the same time quality and client relations must be maintained.

The constant battle between competiveness and quality often makes it difficult for the solicitor to deliver the type of service that one would expect from a supplier of professional services. Whether the client is paying £600 or £200 the level of expectation is the same as are the demands of the client. 

Given the client is expecting high standards of service but at a low price the future for the solicitor as a provider of this service looks grim unless something is done to make the process more slim line and less cumbersome. The Law Society that purports to be an organization that exists to promote solicitors interests seems more preoccupied in bringing in more stringent quality standards for conveyancers than putting pressure on the Government to modify the home moving system.

The Labour Government introduced Home Information Packs, and although they were not well received, they did go someway towards speeding up the process and making it less stressful.  The Law Society was presented with a golden opportunity to build on this initiative but failed to respond positively. Unfortunately our current government lacks the insight (and indeed the motivation) to bring in measures to improve the system and the signs are that we will not be emerging from the dark ages for sometime.

David Pett who is a partner with Morgan Jones and Pett wrote this Blog Entry.  His role involves the supervision of the firm’s Residential Conveyancing Team.  He also runs the Business Development and IT Team. He can be contacted at davidpett@m-j-p.co.uk

Your feedback would be appreciated – davidpett@m-j-p.co.uk

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