Challenges ahead for Conveyancers in 2018

With the dust having barely settled on the recent Mishcon de Reya Appeal judgment, Today’s Conveyancer was eager to attend the Society for Licensed Conveyancers (SLC) & Bold Legal Group (BLG) Roadshow, which took place in Leeds yesterday.

There was, by the SLC’s own admission, a slightly different flavour to this year’s event, as they sought to gain feedback from the 35 people in the room on a wide range of subjects. This included the proposed introduction of Reservation Agreements, Leasehold Title Reform and Equity Release.

As expected, fraud and risk were also high on the agenda, with law firms continuing to be the prime target of sophisticated fraudsters and email intercepting criminals, which, as Edward Donne of Howdens said “lawyers ignore at their peril.”  In fact, the conference highlighted yet another concerning trend emerging amongst recent attacks on firms, with attempts at duping firms out of money aimed at sales staff and senior personnel rather than client funds.

Equity release Chair David Burrowes then updated the audience on the rise in lending observed in the equity release market. Highlighting the positive market statistics, he encouraged law firms to consider the opportunities in terms of expanding their offering to include equity release, particularly in light of the fact that 70% of all equity is owned by the over 50s.

Another key point raised was that the challenges facing law firms this year are coming from a number of different sources. Among those cited were the Government’s intention to transform the house buying and selling process, the improvement of price transparency in line with the Competition and Market’s Authority report as well reform of the leasehold market.

During their own segment of the Roadshow, the SLC gave examples of how their strong relationships with lenders help their members when it comes to joining panels, highlighting the additional benefits that this provides.

Mike Ockenden, Head of Secretariat of the SLC stated: “At the 3rd Spring Roadshow it was interesting to get views from delegates on the changing face of conveyancing with so many challenges facing the profession. Not only do uncertainties of Dreamvar and Brabners continue to divert attention, but the government’s home buying and selling review in addition to the many disparate initiatives going on are consuming a lot of time and attention for lawyers. It has been therefore been timely to get delegates’ opinions on the wide range of subjects covered by this afternoon’s agenda.”

Harvey Harding, Managing Director of PM Property Lawyers described the event as “An enjoyable, relaxed and inclusive afternoon, with a good amount of interaction between speakers and delegates. The presentations were pithy and expert – getting to the salient points quickly without fuss.”

Also sharing his thoughts on the day was Jonathan Woodcraft of Stewart Title, who was proud to be sponsoring the event. He stated: “We are pleased to support the SLC Spring Roadshows, the 3rd of which was in Leeds today. It is always a great opportunity to meet new and existing customers and we thank the SLC for their continued support.”

CEO of the Bold Legal Group, Rob Hailstone concluded “It was great to be on the road again this year being part of the SLC/BLG roadshows. Meeting existing and new members face to face is always good in these days of remote communication. With so much going on in the world of conveyancing, the agenda was just as varied and interesting as usual and the discussions were as lively as I can recall.”

There is one last chance to attend the SLC roadshow which takes place in London on 5th June 12.00pm to 4.30pm.

Spaces are limited, so make sure you register now to avoid disappointment.

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