On Tuesday the 22nd November I attended the Embracing the Future of Conveyancing conference set up by the Society of Licensed Conveyancers.
Speakers and topics included: Jennifer Bourne, Legal and Financial Crime, CML, Mortgage Fraud: Paul Broadhead, Head of Mortgage Policy, BSA, Lenders Panels: Victor Olowe, Chief Executive, Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC), A New Approach to Regulation: Alex Roy, Research Manager, Legal Services Board, Alternative Business Structures. All of the speakers were engaging and what they said was of great interest and use. However, the day belonged to Mike Ockenden (Society of Licensed Conveyancers) who unveiled the SLC’s proposed solution to Lender Panel issues; SLC Quality Assured (SLCQA).
I will not repeat what was said about the unveiling said in an earlier report published in Today’s Conveyancer last week. Instead, I will pass a few of my comments on the proposed solution.
SLCQA was developed partly because the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) has only gone some way to addressing lender panel issues and is just seen as part of the overall solution and partly because Licensed Conveyancers are not able to become part of the CQS. As a result and in order not to be left behind, the CLC and the SLC had to develop their own solution.
Developing the SLCQA after having had time to study and monitor CQS may be no bad thing. The SLC have made joining much easier, by initially passporting all Licensed Conveyancers, licensed by the CLC, onto SLCQA. Thereby removing a costly and time consuming barrier that continues to affect Solicitors becoming CQS accredited.
Unlike CQS, SLCQA is also supported by an online system which, amongst other things will monitor behavioural patterns and flag up unusual things like, a change of bank account.
A reluctant indication as to the cost of being part of SLCQA was mentioned but is not yet for general consumption. All I can say is the cost will be on a per transaction basis and if SLCQA delivers all it sets out to will not be unreasonable, particularly if it helps reduce over time, the cost of PI insurance.
One delegate I was sat next to at the conference had recently converted from being a Solicitor practice to a Licensed Conveyancer practice. He said the transition was “quick, easy, painless but thorough.” Maybe more Solicitor firms will do the same if SLCQA attracts more and more positive lender attention.
SLCQA will, no doubt, have its own development problems and I am sure that CQS will continue to improve and gain more traction over the coming months but it does seem a pity that the two systems do not integrate.
If you would like a complete copy of my report, including comments made by all of the speakers email me at [email protected]
The Bold Group www.theboldgroup.co.uk