Conveyancers attend CML lunch in force

The number of conveyancers and panel managers attending the CML lunch on Friday showed the importance of good relationships with lenders.

I was kindly invited to attend the CML lunch by Fastrac solicitors. Over the years I have attended many of these events, but at this event there were more conveyancers, search providers and panel managers in attendance than for many years.

This event is on an unusual scale for conveyancers. Over 600 people attended, speeches were made, money was raised for charity but the conveyancers were clearly not there to focus on those aspects of the afternoon.

Amongst the conveyancers many of the largest brands were represented including; Countrywide, My Home Move, O’Neill Patient, Advantage Property Lawyers, Ashfords, Chadwick Lawrence, Breeze and Wyles, Enact, Optima, Goldsmith Williams, Grindeys, QCAS (Shulmans) Fastrac, Blacks Child and Child, Total Conveyancing Services and Gaby Hardwicke. Apologies If I missed anyone, it was a very large event, however the list of conveyancers represents quite a large proportion of the market.

Des Hudson, Diane Later and Jonathan Smithers attended representing the Law Society and Sheila Kumar and Wayne Pearson represented the CLC. The Land Registry also attended.

Others that conveyancers will know of included LMS, TM Group, London and European, Groundsure, PSG, Thames Water, STL, E-Conveyancer, Connells, Wessex Water, Visual Files and The Bold Group.

So why were so many conveyancers there? And what does it say to those that weren’t?

Clearly conveyancing is tough and both the cost of the event and a Friday away is challenging. Those attending must have thought it was important given the opportunity cost.

I watched many conveyancers networking. Some spending more time hunting down lenders and talking with them than others, so for many it wasn’t just about talking to other conveyancers it was about the lenders themselves.

Speaking to some of the conveyancers there it was clear that close relationships with lenders and being seen to be at events is becoming increasingly important to ensure that they stay on panels.

Many are engaging with the real concerns that many lenders have about some conveyancers.

Will this work? Where does it leave those firms that don’t do this?

I have no idea, but some firms are putting much more effort into their relationships with lenders than they may have done in the past. The other large group that were there were all the firms that act for lenders and call for files to see if conveyancers have done anything wrong.

I saw little discussion between the potential claimants and defendants, but there is clearly a busy trade in pursuing claims against those conveyancers that get it wrong.

I wonder how many conveyancers might attend next year. 

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