Outsourcing – the smart choice?
Outsourcing has previously been a dirty word in the conveyancing sector, but is it time to face up to the facts? That outsourcing parts of the job is a sensible and efficient solution to the many problems in the modern conveyancing world?
Recent times have shown that clients and the conveyancing world expect more from firms, faster, precise, better communication, quicker trouble shooting.
Simply put conveyancers are expected to be able juggle increasing workloads, more enquiries, more connectivity with clients and to manage all of this within a shorter time frame while still being financially viable. Holding to traditional business models has limited flexibility to allow for such expansion as either a fee earner or a business. Yet still there is a stubborn resistance in the profession towards letting go of parts of the transaction to a specialist. This is especially unusual as traditionally lawyers outside of conveyancing have always outsourced parts of their work seeking expert opinions, advocacy and costs just to name a few!
Even the Law Society in its practice note dated 09th September 2021 acknowledges the benefits of outsourcing for law firms looking to manage the pressures of conveyancing. Surely a clear sign of outsourcing’s time to be celebrated as an answer for overloaded and overburdened fee earners/firms?
Outsourcing a specific and specialised part of your conveyancing process allows an opportunity to benefit from targeted skills and experience. Expertise in such an area as title investigation are scarce and with focus on the quality and assurance of a title investigation to ensure smooth running of the conveyancing transaction, taking advantage of subject matter expertise gives a distinct advantage.
Title investigation is a delicate, time consuming but fundamentally essential part of the conveyancing transaction. It requires a specialist whose only focus is the title in front of them, rather than the split focus that most conveyancers have to develop to juggle the technical legal aspects of the job with the equally important client management and compliance skills. Fee earners and firms can claim back their time through outsourcing the title investigation to focus on client retention through maintaining the business relationship and expanding their client basis and capacity to take on more work.
Thinking of the wider picture, the focus on client contact, and service delivery in a commercially viable way is more important now than ever before. The emergence of COVID 19 and the impact this has had on the industry to deliver to its clients has presented significant challenges in this respect. Flexible ways of working and managing resources, volumes and general uncertainty became and continue to be the norm. Being able to adapt and pivot quickly with processes and resourcing enables conveyancing firms/departments to flex to meet client demand. Outsourcing high value and time-consuming activities such as title investigation enable greater control of capacity and resource management, enable firms to scale up and down to suit current workloads and without long term commitments in uncertain times.
The benefits of outsourcing are simple yet vital in the development of conveyancing. It is the flexible, innovative firms that embrace remote working, outsourcing and fee earner support that have flourished through the pandemic.
Alex McCay is a Solicitor at ntitle Ltd