Ex estate agent incurs wrath of conveyancing community

Members of the conveyancing community have taken to LinkedIn to express dismay at a recent article published in Property Industry Eye.

Following a recent opinion piece in which Russell Quirk, co-founder of property PR specialist ProperPR, lambasted the conveyancing community by likening the communication approach of the entire sector to that of the recently troubled Simplify Group, commenting that conveyancing is a “broken, tired, lazy and uninventive industry that is in more need of a booster than any of us”, Rob Hailstone, founder of Bold Legal Group took to LinkedIn to express anger and frustration at the former estate agent’s remarks.

This article has made my blood boil!!” said Hailstone, “this year conveyancers have apparently: ‘shuffled the necessary paperwork around a desk’, ‘scrawled their quills in anger’, ‘maintained the Dickensian status quo’”, he added, quoting sections of Quirk’s article.

Further comments from the conveyancing community have since ensued, showing disdain for Quirk’s remarks and echoing Hailstone’s thoughts.

As usual, another non-conveyancer blaming solicitors for all of the issues in the conveyancing process”, said one contributor. Another called Quirk’s article “rubbish” and continued, “I don’t let it get to me personally as I know, as do lots of you, as an individual, and as a firm, we couldn’t have given any more to our clients”.

Focusing on Quirk’s lack of empathy for the conveyancing sector, particularly in view of recent challenges, one commenter stated, “you [Quirk] have shown yourself in a very bad light”.

You do not mention the large numbers of conveyancers who have worked flat out in 2021, often working 12 to 14 hour days, frequently in lockdown, especially during the stamp duty holiday. You also say nothing of the pressures involved in the conveyancing process, or the abuse that conveyancers face on a daily basis from many in your former estate agency industry. You are silent about the mental exhaustion that the vast majority of conveyancers are currently feeling after what has been a most bruising year for them”, they added.

Others re-iterated that general negative perceptions of the conveyancing industry are problematic and can also come from the client side.

This gentleman’s view (albeit incorrect on many levels) is the view of many clients. People just don’t understand the industry complications or work that goes into each file. I just don’t understand why people can’t understand what we go through?!? Is it because the nearest view of the legal system they get is the series ‘Suits’?

Although some commenters did see Quirk’s points around the Simplify IT disaster, others thought the article was merely, “inflammatory … to sell advertising”.

Either way it would appear that Quirk is now rather unpopular amongst conveyancers: “with the views you have just expressed, I can’t see any property lawyers who would want to add you to their Christmas card lists”, said one contributor.

The LinkedIn discussion may be viewed here.

4 Comments

  • test

    Quirk has been cancelled:)

    • test

      I see that some who disagree with Quirke blame “clients” or “people”

      Why have practitioners enjoying restrictive trade practices since 1804 not got their point across yet?

  • test

    There is huge inefficiency throughout the process from no one explaining to lay people what the process is or why, from agents who lie and conveyancers who provide little or no service. Whilst this is not the case in every transaction, there is a general dislike and distrust of all the professionals involved. I have worked as a conveyancer for around 50 years and have also been involved with an estate agent business and the general air of unpleasantness is why I don’t do resi anymore.

  • test

    Conveyancers have admirably dealt with a huge surge in volume during the pandemic, predictable resourcing problems fueling this well-worn soundtrack! This will only ever get fixed when agents and conveyancers start to collaborate better using the available resources and tech to solve these problems. Whilst the market is likely to continue to be buoyant new instructions will be scarce so it is time to take stock and make some changes to safeguard against similar occurrences.

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