Highly Commended: Best New Training Initiative

On Tuesday 25th May 2021, professionals from across the conveyancing sector came together to celebrate the successes and achievements of the industry at The British Conveyancing Awards 2021.

The inaugural awards took to the virtual stage, and were led by the multi-award winning journalist and broadcaster Samira Ahmed. If you want a re-cap of the action, the recording is available to view here.

As part of our winner spotlight features, we want to shine a light on those who narrowly missed out on being crowned the winner, but have been highly commended for their efforts over the previous 12 months at this year’s event.

Today we profile Adam Forshaw, Managing Director at O’Neill Patient who were highly commended in the Best New Training Initiative category.

About the award

Training has been a constant challenge for law firms juggling remote working, increased risk, new staff and the reintegration of furloughed colleagues. How have firm adapted their training to meet these challenges? What innovative or tried and trusted training programmes have they implemented?

Over the last 12 moths the firm must have demonstrated:

  • A new approach or initiative they have implemented in response to the current pandemic
  • A commitment to continuous training through remote learning or blended training.
  • How the firm has measured success of the training from when the training program was launched.

Judges will also consider staff feedback with regard to the impact it has had on them personally.

The judges commended O’Neill Patient saying:

“I like the response the firm has chosen in relation to developing its own talent during Covid. It’s a brave and bold step they’ve chosen and a lot of credit should be given to them. I am impressed by the numbers that they have gone through, their virtual training school and the approach of taking those with no conveyancing experience and pairing them with teams to build knowledge. I am also impressed with the structured approach to training with the intensive four week programme.”

The winners of this award were Convey Law with Post Partner awarded the third spot.

How did you feel being highly commended in the Best New Training Initiative award?

We were delighted. It’s been less than six months since we first launched our Training Academy so to get recognition for it at such an early stage is outstanding, and a real credit to the team.

Tell us about your team and the services you provide

We are a service and tech driven conveyancing firm providing conveyancing and remortgage services. Customer service is at the heart of everything we do and we are extremely lucky to have such an outstanding team delivering day in day out.

Despite the uncertainty of 2020, we managed to significantly expand our presence in the property market. We now work with more lenders, more panel managers, more mortgage brokers and look after more homeowners than ever before.

How has your firm developed in the last 14 months and navigated the added complexity of the coronavirus pandemic and SDLT holiday?

We have grown significantly, not just in terms of headcount, but as a flexible business offering choice to our staff. Prior to Covid we were 100% office based, now people have the option and flexibility to work from home, go into the office or a mixture of the two.

In addition, our people can adjust their hours to work around their personal life, as long as it suits the role, so they get a good work life balance. Working from home saves on the commute time and expense and mixing that with going into the office allows for social interaction so our staff still feel part of the great team we have at ONP.

With the Training Academy we’ve recruited people on the basis of our flexibility. Because it is virtual learning we have been able to broaden our geographical reach across the country as well as bring in more people.

The SDLT holiday has posed challenges to the conveyancing sector as a whole but the introduction of our Training Academy has got us ahead of the curve. We have recruited heavily with 110 new people so far this year. Having the accelerated training structure has massively aided us during a tough period in the industry.

What’s next on the cards for you?

Our main goal is growth and to become even stronger in terms of service and make the customer journey even better. We want to be recognised as the industry leader, by introducing more technology and by making the process as smooth and easy as possible for all our clients and introducers.

What advice would you give someone thinking of joining the conveyancing sector?

Conveyancing is a great career and can offer some brilliant opportunities, I started off as a Case Manager in my early career and progressed to Managing Director.  You do need to be prepared to work hard and persevere. I would also advise you choose a firm that keeps up with technological advances, has strong customer service values and an excellent training programme to help you to keep progressing in your career.

This is the very first British Conveyancing Awards, which recognises the herculean efforts of the industry, why do you think these awards are so important, especially after the last 14 months?

Without a doubt, these awards are recognition of our industry. It is good to be appreciated for the hard work we do to help people with one of the most stressful and expensive purchases in their life. Conveyancing is an extremely valuable service and incredibly important, and the past 14 months especially have proved that.

Everyone at Today’s Conveyancer congratulates all those who entered this year’s awards.

Join in the conversation #BCAwards2021

Today's Conveyancer