With National Conveyancing Week in full swing, we brought together a number of our conveyancing colleagues. They discuss the mood of the market settling into 2023, share their thoughts on the industry, what it’s been through over the last few years and advice they would give to anyone starting out in their career in conveyancing.
| How far has conveyancing come from when you started – and where may it go next?
Alan Tai – “Whilst the key milestones of the conveyancing process are the same, the way the process is delivered has evolved significantly as have the expectations of clients and the requirements of governing bodies. For example, when I first started all Land Registry forms were completed manually and then posted or faxed, there was much less compliance work to carry out and there was no expectation for clients to be kept abreast of every step of the process. Modern conveyancing is both assisted and hindered by technology, technology can automate some tasks but there are now expectations for “text message” like response times – i.e. responses expected within minutes rather than hours or days. Conveyancing will undoubtedly continue to evolve – ultimately a transaction may not need any physical documents at all.”
Andrew Lancaster– “From when I qualified 20 years ago, the biggest change has been the electronification of the conveyancing process. From title deeds to searches, and the way that we communicate with clients and third parties, it is now possible to run a conveyancing file almost paper-free. This has undoubtedly improved the efficiency and speed in which conveyancing transactions are conducted. I see this trend only continuing, with electronic signatures becoming more widespread once the industry starts to adopt the practice and begins to feel comfortable in meeting Land Registry’s requirements in this regard.”
Gillian Sandford – “Conveyancing is much quicker now. Pre-emails we had post once a day, now we receive post every 30 seconds and people expect an immediate turnaround. Maybe in the next 20 years we will able to complete the day after the offer is made!”
Sue Simpson – “It has come a long way and a lot more is done online these days but I do like it when we get a chance to meet our clients face to face particularly after the last few years.”
| What advice would you give someone starting out on their legal career in conveyancing?
Scott Dickinson – “Always be willing and open to learn. No matter how long you have been in conveyancing, situations will always arise that you have never had to deal with previously.”
Gillian Sandford – “Be prepared to work long hours and keep up with the changes in the industry, there is a lot to learn.”
Alan Tai – “Organisation and attention to detail are essential skills – never assume anything.”
Waseem Afzal – “Be organised as that makes this job a lot manageable.”
| What is the best advice you have been given?
Alan Tai – “Don’t be afraid to charge for your expertise!”
Gillian Sandford – “Always do the difficult jobs first, don’t leave them on your desk.”
Waseem Afzal – “Do not overwork yourself so that your work takes over your life.”
| Support for National Conveyancing Week
Steven Newdall, Managing Partner at Levi Solicitors added: “I am immensely proud to have a fantastic team of people who have worked so hard over the last few years. And it’s not just the conveyancers that have been working hard….spare a thought for the agents and brokers too.
It was important for us a firm to lend our support to this campaign: support conveyancers, support conveyancing #NatConveyWk2023.”
Our conveyancing team will be taking over our social channels throughout the week, so make sure you give us a like and a share.
Click here to find out more about National Conveyancing Week.