A recent report entitled ‘Conveyancing and Property Law: A Changing Market Report’ has been published and discusses the changing conveyancing market. The report focuses on the changing market place, government involvement, technological change and evolving skills requirements.
Previously, the conveyancing market was made up of local law firms but there is an increasing trend towards national conveyancers creating a commoditised market. The Q1 2019 edition of the Conveyancing Market Tracker from Search Acumen, the property data insight and technology provider, has found that the number of active conveyancing firms in England and Wales has dropped below 4,000 for the first time. At 3,961 active conveyancing firms this number is down 9% on five years ago. The top 200 firms now control more than 39% of the market with the top 1,000 conveyancers controlling more than three quarters of the market. The potential impact of this drop in local law firms is a shift in business and operating models to accommodate the change in the market. The latest case management software does much to control, automate, and drive efficiency into the conveyancing process. Redbrick Solutions Case Management can save time by automating much of the process, from producing quotes, to completing ID checks, Land Registry submissions and ordering searches to producing completion statements.
The government are committed to ‘reform and modernise the home buying and selling process so it is more efficient and less costly’. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has been pushing ahead with changes that have focused on: customer experience, reduction in time to completion and reduction in failed transactions. There are a number of areas that are being explored at the moment and these include: reservation agreements, property logbooks, digital signatures and ID verification. The government have also produced a number of guides on the buying and selling process aimed at consumers. For conveyancers, new standards have been published New Core Practice Management Standards (CPMS) have come into force from 1st May 2019 to which all accredited Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) firms must adhere to. Redbrick Solutions provide innovative solutions to address these new requirements. We provide comprehensive AML checks using extensive data sources which are fully compliant and with a full audit trail.
Advances in technology are set to transform the conveyancing and legal sector. The rise of blockchain technology and artificial intelligence could have a major impact on the market in the coming decade. In addition, online portals and apps are already available to help consumers with the home buying process. Redbrick Solution’s online portal allows the conveyancer to upload documents for the client to complete and sign electronically, providing a better service for the client and a more efficient transaction for all concerned.
There is a national move to support the apprenticeship route to qualification and within the legal profession there are three routes leading to qualification as a paralegal, a chartered legal executive or a solicitor. There are nearly 6,000 apprentices in England at Levels 6 (degree) and 7 (Masters) (Office for Students, 2018). With more high-quality apprenticeships on offer than ever before, the apprenticeship path is becoming an ever more attractive option to young people and employers alike.