The end of conveyancing solicitor?

Published: 28/03/2014

The chair of the Legal Services Consumer Panel was quoted recently as saying, ‘consumers are increasingly interested in the quality of what they get, the price they pay and their access to protection if something goes wrong – not necessarily who provides it’. Her comments on the Panel’s website continued ‘anyone who can demonstrate their competence to practice should be permitted to provide legal services to consumers under appropriate supervision.’

‘Does this herald the end of conveyancing services’ asks Eddie Goldsmith, Senior Partner at property solicitors Goldsmith Williams ‘or merely mark a transition to a new era? There have already been far reaching changes in the provision of legal services in the last few years and the foundations for these predicted developments are already visible in many firms I believe.

Whilst further liberalisation could have a beneficial effect for clients in driving down costs for example, for many clients the quality and professionalism of the legal service they receive is also of great importance. After all for most clients their property transaction concerns their largest lifetime asset and ensuring they have security of title will be uppermost in their minds.

Brokers therefore continue to have an important part to play in helping their clients navigate these ongoing changes in the legal landscape. To do this successfully brokers need to form and maintain their own networks with conveyancing professionals forging partnerships with forward thinking firms that embrace change and offer the latest methods of service provision whilst not losing sight of other indicators of effectiveness. In particular brokers should take account of the quality accreditations that the firm has earned – look for the prestigious Law Society Conveyancing Quality Scheme mark and also the ISO 9001 accreditation.

The importance of the conveyancing transaction to clients and their demands for a professional approach means that these latest developments are unlikely to signal the total demise of the conveyancing solicitor but rather presage further change in an already dynamically changing environment.

Content correct at time of publication

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