6500 conveyancing firms operated in 2012 – how many 2013?

Despite a rising market with nearly 5% more applications to Land Registry than in 2012 the pace of consolidation in the market is becoming very clear.  689980 applications were made to Land Registry for transfers for value in 2012 each one representing a conveyancing case and work for conveyancers.

The top ten Land Registry account holders grew their volumes from 46291 to 70712 applications which in market share terms rose from 7.1% to 10.3% market share.  Similar growth patterns emerged for the top 25 and top 100 firms.

Significantly the changes to smaller firms seem equally dramatic.  The number of micro conveyancing firms doing 10 or fewer applications per year reduced from 2491 firms to 1994.

With all the changes in lender panels we wonder what number will be still doing conveyancing at the end of this year.

Chris Harris owner of Today’s Conveyancer Managing Director of Lawyer Checker said “It is always sad when firms leave a market and many will look to lenders to take the blame.  Lenders are however clients and have every right to choose not to work with conveyancers they perceive not to be acceptable to them.  Unfortunately that is resulting in some decisions that look arbitrary or unfair in some cases but which lenders have every right to do. In many cases however some of the strongest and loudest voices blaming lenders have had disciplinary issues with the SDT or failed to register files on time. Conveyancers can however do some very basic things to help them stay on panels and we have helped many firms demonstrate to lenders their commitment to quality.”  

“The next big issue will be whether conveyancers should be able to hold client funds.  If as the LSB and SRA have suggested client funds are moved to a central fund or an electronic trading platform thousands more firms will leave the market and conveyancing will become further deskilled.  At the moment many lenders will support this action because of the issues that still occur with some rogue firms ruining the market for the rest.”  

“If the profession acts now and uses services like Lawyer Checker to actually check that the account to which you are sending money is linked to an organisation that can validly give you an undertaking lenders may have more faith in the conveyancing sectors management of their money."

Please contact us if you wish to receive the 2012 data.

If you wish to find out further information about Lawyer Checker please contact Chris at [email protected]
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