What 2021 taught property lawyers and conveyancers

Chris Loaring, managing director of Landmark Legal looks ahead to 2022 to consider the trends we may see in property conveyancing and real estate law:

 “As we look forwards, I thought it would be valuable to take stock of the industry changes this past year to give us a comparison of trends we see continuing their predicted path versus those that are newly emerging.

Last December I was asked to offer my views on what 2021 would have in store for the residential and CRE legal sectors and, at the time, I offered a handful of trends that I thought would make their mark and it’s been fascinating to see them unfold as predicted.

I called out the acceleration of market consolidation in the legal space. Looking through a recent news article published in the Law Gazette, it stated that in the year from June 2020 to May 2021, 103 practices merged, which accounted for 18% of the total closures reported during the same period. We too, as a business,  have witnessed many firms merging throughout the year and it certainly looks like this is a continuing trend as we enter 2022. This remains driven by market pressures and increasing risk management demands, including escalating Professional Indemnity Insurance premiums.

Another trend I suggested last year as ‘something to watch’ in 2021 was Digitisation; here I suggested that 2021 will be the year when a UPRN-based property insight template will start taking shape. I’m delighted that this has progressed with the Conveyancing Information Executive launching a practical whitepaper on industry-wide UPRN adoption, along with a formal roundtable, hosted by Ordnance Survey, which considered the practical steps required to continue bringing this initiative forward.  Further progress in 2022 should be valuable to the industry.

For 2022, as well as seeing a continuation of the above, I foresee that a prominent focus will be on sustainability – it’s a topic that can no longer be ignored nor side-lined and its transition to a mainstream consideration will continue at pace.  I believe there will be greater emphasis from organisations across our industry in agreeing specific sustainability targets, with many of them embedding more formal ESG measurement and management strategies, with actionable targets.”

For more information regarding Landmark Information, visit https://www.landmark.co.uk/legal-conveyancing/.

This article was submitted to be published by Landmark Information Group as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Conveyancer. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Conveyancer.

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