A “National Conveyancing Week” would aim to educate the property industry and wider general public about the role of conveyancers in the home moving transaction and serve to restore some pride in a profession constantly battered by bad press and increasing scrutiny.
At his Bold Legal Conference in London Rob Hailstone, who founded the conveyancing membership body Bold Legal Group, said he intended to launch the week in Spring 2023.
Taking to the stage at the end of the day Hailstone said that conveyancing was “undervalued, under appreciated and mis-understood” by estate agents and consumers, suggesting that despite attempts to foster greater collaboration and understanding, and introduce more technology, things are getting worse rather than better for conveyancers.
Today’s Conveyancer has pledged its support to the initiative with Managing Director David Opie saying
“The negative view of the conveyancing profession is perpetuated by the mud-slinging we see in our national press. There is little to no understanding of the role of conveyancers and the pressures they are under as the hub of the transaction, and raising the profile of the incredible work down up and down the country is something we very much applaud and support.”
If you are interested in being involved in a “National Conveyancing Week” you can contact Rob on [email protected].
The conference itself had touched on issues that affect the property market in 2022, with a keynote from Head of the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team James Munro on the work being done by estate agents to improve the quality of information available to home movers up front.
Deputy Chief Executive and Deputy Chief Land Registrar of HM Land Registry Mike Harlow outlined the progress being made on the digitisation of land and property data held by Land Registry, reminding delegates of the upcoming deadline for the submission of scanned or PDF copies of AP1s which will no longer be accepted by November 2022 – marking the first time in history that the agency has made a digital channel mandatory.
And in the final panel of the day, in a forerunner to the announcement, Hailstone was joined on stage by Iain McKenzie, CEO at The Guild of Property Professionals and Paul Offley Estate Agent Compliance Specialist alongside James Munro to discuss the challenge of greater collaboration and understanding.
Speaking exclusively to Today’s Conveyancer Rob Hailstone said
“The purpose of the National Conveyancing Week would be to inform and educate the property industry about the role of the conveyancer in the transaction; with responsibilities which have increased hugely in responsibility in the last 10 years.”
“We have people leaving the profession hand over fist, with too few joining. We have to make this a far more inviting profession for graduates and support efforts to recruit new people”
“In the last 10 years we have seen the number of firms undertaking conveyancing fall from 7500 to below 4000 and while PII has played its part, the only way we can arrest this slide is by ensuring conveyancers are properly remunerated for their efforts… we MUST set fees at a more acceptable level to ensure the longevity of our profession in the future.”
In a podcast with Today’s Conveyancer Hailstone talked about his own experiences as a conveyancer in Devon, a job which he reflected he largely enjoyed at the time.
“We helped people move into their dream home. We were genuinely appreciated for what we did. I lost count of the number of letters and cards of appreciation I received from home movers and estate agents throughout my time. Sadly, I’m not sure that happens as often now.”
“Back then I would say we had 7-10 big plates to keep spinning at one time. Nowadays conveyancers have 15-20 (or even more) smaller plates to keep spinning which is a much harder task.”
Listen in to Rob’s thoughts at www.todaysconveyancer.co.uk or download the Today’s Conveyancer podcast from your preferred podcast provider.