Digital ID at the forefront of people’s minds

Embracing technology and the positive impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the legal sector in regards to adopting technology has been a hot topic of conversation.

Here at Today’s Conveyancer we’ve been at the forefront of these discussions and recently welcomed a panel of esteemed guests to discuss the importance of the digital ID framework, HM Land Registry’s Digital ID Standard (‘Safe Harbour’) and much more.

The delegates at the roundtable were:

  • Stuart Young, Managing Director Etive Technologies
  • Hannah Rutter, Deputy Director, Digital Identity at Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)
  • Stephen Ward, Director of Strategy at the Council for Licensed Conveyancers
  • Glynis Frew, CEO Hunters Estate Agents
  • Matt Prior, Home Buying and Selling Group Policy Lead, ‎Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)
  • Michael Abraham, Product Manager at HM Land Registry

The round table was hosted by Director of Engagement at Today’s Conveyancer, Tom Lyes, who set the scene:

“The focus of the discussion is to explore the potential impacts of the DCMS Trust Framework for Digital Identity on the Conveyancing landscape whilst bearing in mind the full home buying and selling process. I’ve recently spoken to a journalist from the I newspaper who had written an exclusive about an instance of ID and funds transfer fraud. Reading that article and understanding how the fraudster committed this just goes to show that the key to change is people across the industry working together rather than in silos. The whole reason that most people get into Conveyancing is to see or the hear the joy within their clients when they get their new home and to protect them, it’s important to remember that when we talk about Digital ID in this space the consumer must be at the centre of our thinking. I’m delighted that we’ve managed to get such a committed and varied group of people for this Today’s Conveyancer virtual roundtable.”

It was then over to the delegates to share their experiences of the Digital ID project.

Hannah Rutter explained some of the background on what DCMS have been up to and what they hope to achieve with the Digital Identity Trust Framework.

Stuart Young, has been instrumental in running a digital identity project. He explained how his project was progressing and the feedback he’d had from conveyancers.

Matt Prior explained where he saw the Digital ID trust framework improving the home buying process? What sort of impacts would he would like to see in the long term.

Conveyancers carry the burden of weight and risk in transactions, with the liability most often falling with them. Stephen Ward, explained what’s being done about this.

Stephen went on to explain what insurers think about this and the impact their thoughts could have on the sector.

Estate agents are key to the digital ID process and are the first port of call for clients. Glynis explains what impact the Digital Identity Trust Framework would have on agents, and whether at some point the whole home buying and selling chain will be able to rely on a client producing ID once.

Michael Abraham explained how the DCMS project tied in with HM Land Registry’s Digital ID Standard.

Tom Lyes added:

“The key word that continually cropped up in our conversations was trust. Having trust throughout this transaction is key. It’s vital we have trust in the framework, trust in the processes and systems and trust in each other if we want to make this work. If we all pull in the same direction, we can create something that not only helps client’s but can also help all the other stakeholders in the process improving efficiencies and providing a better client journey.”

The framework is only in it’s draft stages at the moment, but the introduction of HMLR’s Digital ID Standard  has helped to pave the way for further development with regards to digital ID checks and protecting conveyancers from any recourse if something went awry.

With this in mind the panel discussed what challenges and obstacles that might prevent the Digital ID framework from becoming a reality.


Ensuring everyone gets on board with the Digital ID framework is key to it’s success. Delegates explained how they’d encourage all of those in the property market to get involved.

To see the full roundtable video click here.

Today's Conveyancer