Conveyancing to go online under Veyo name

Topics: Law Society activity,Conveyancing

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  • Elliott Vigar, chief executive Veyo

Residential conveyancing in England and Wales will go online next spring via a Law Society-backed website called Veyo, the company behind the venture reveals today. 

Elliott Vigar, chief executive, is due to unveil the brand of the long-awaited e-conveyancing system at the Property Law conference in London this afternoon.

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He says Veyo is a ‘market-changing product’ which will handle conveyancing from instruction to post-completion. 

Veyo, which will be marketed as ‘the home of conveyancing’, will allow solicitors and licensed conveyancers to share information and documents with purchasers, HM Land Registry and, eventually, HM Revenue & Customs, mortgage lenders. and estate agents.

All documentation for each transaction will be kept online, in one system that will track activity and progress and issue automatic reminders of actions. 

The only step that will still need to be carried out on paper is signing the deeds, thanks to Land Registry’s legal requirement for a ‘wet signature’, Vigar told the Gazette.

Buyers and sellers will be able to track their transaction via an app on a mobile phone. 

Veyo is the brand name of a joint venture between the Law Society and IT services giant Mastek. It is chaired by Desmond Hudson, former chief executive of the Law Society, which picked up the e-conveyancing baton after Land Registry abandoned its own programme in 2009. 

The system is due to go live at the end of the first quarter of 2015 and be integrated with Land Registry systems and a consumer-facing site from day one. Integration with HMRC for stamp duty land tax will come in a later release. 

It will be open to licensed conveyancers as well as solicitors and in the future ‘any other regulated professional’ approved to offer conveyancing services, Vigar said. ’The more people who are on board the better. We want it to be viral.’ 

Every user will be individually approved, Vigar said. The system will provide an audit trail of communications between all parties in a transaction, which will strengthen risk-management and compliance, cutting the risk of fraud. 

A ‘significant number’ of firms have expressed an interest in testing the system, he said, which is designed with the Law Society’s conveyancing protocol ‘hard-wired’ in. 

‘We can’t create a system that is exactly the same as every one in use today, but we can create one that is familiar to practitioners,' Vigar said. ‘They’ll see a process which they recognise and are comfortable with.’ 

The portal will come with its own case management system but Veyo will also offer kits for integration with leading case management systems. 

Vigar said that charges for the system are have not yet been decided. ‘The model will be built around a licence fee and a transaction fee but we are not in a position to come up with numbers,’ he said. 

Readers' comments (45)

  • And then watch conveyancing fraud go through the roof...

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  • What could possibly go wrong?

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  • "Every user will be individually approved"

    In the same dead-slow timescale that every CQS application is individually approved? Or faster and with more mistakes, like the "Find a Solicitor" site, which the SRA have admitted is not guaranteed to be correct?

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  • More sponging middle men then?
    Interesting idea I guess but will it work? - I think not!

    However, with Des Hudson at the helm there is clearly a chance of success as I'm sure he is very well acquainted with the day to day experiences of the average high street conveyancing practice and will be able to mould this model around that knowledge - and it will all turn out in the end to be as successful as his term at the Law Society was!


    LB

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  • More Conveyancing fraud? But surely with all the multitudinous requirements of the SRA, Mortgage lenders et al that would be completely impossible - wouldn't it? Anyway, fear not Mr Hudson will be in control.

    LB

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  • Perhaps I have missed something but I cannot see what difference this system will make.

    I see that is allows for documents to be passed electronically from seller's conveyancer to buyer's, but email can do this already.

    It will allow parties to know what is going on - any conveyancers worth their salt already know what is going on on their own file. The agents can log in if they pay a fee to join (it will be interesting to see if anyone has asked the estate agents whether they plan to) but can just get the update with a phone call anyway.

    The clients can get an update online, but most will call or email for an update now. I accept that it means they can get the update at midnight when they suddenly want to know what is going on, but at the moment most want to chase for something while a firm is open to actually do something about it.

    It will give you reminders to do work, but it will be interesting to know if it takes account of what other work you need to do and waiting times - are you going to be chased on it when you are waiting for searches/mortgage offers/clients to reply to enquiries.

    It will produce an audit trail of communication - sorry but isn't that what our files are for that we are made to keep for years?

    The only benefit I can see from it is for when you tell a client that you are waiting for the other side they can log in and see you are waiting for the other side! If there is a delay the portal is not going to fix that and it is not going to force someone to reply when they are not. All it is going to do is increase the pressure on firms to churn matters out more quickly so they are not seen as 'holding it up' by those logging in most likely at the risk of doing a proper and thorough job.

    If the other side are not subscribed then all this will be pointless anyway.

    I would also be interested to see how they plan to charge. If we have to pay a fee for it then that would have to be charged back to the client and given how costs driven a lot are now are we sure the public will want to pay for using the system?

    There seems to be an awful lot of issues that I am not sure they have actually dealt with.

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  • I agree Mary... and don't expect to be able to pass the cost onto the customer either as a disbursement - the SRA won't allow that.

    This is a white elephant, and with apparently £10 million spent on it, an expensive one too. I dread to think what the transaction fee and licence fee will be, to recoup this investment....

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  • And will all this have an effect on PII premiums? Of course it will as the opportunities for even more things to go wrong will increase.

    And will clients stop calling us? They will have even more reason to call us, of course!

    And will that speed things up? Only as much as clients calling in three or four times a day ever did I suppose.

    Progress, eh?

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  • Ignoring the licence fee, if the transaction fee was say £15-£20 on the low costs for conveyancing that will have a big effect if it cannot be charged back to the client, but I doubt most clients will see the need for it when can just call or email for the same information without the extra fee.

    I can imagine the calls now from clients checking every few minutes then seeing that it tells them the other side has raised enquiries for them to immediately phone to find out what they are as I haven't call them the second it has happened.

    If there is a choice over the portal then at least, once it is up and running and firms have had a chance to look at and assess it, we can decide whether it is worth it to sign up to it. The big fear I have is that to support the cashflow it will be made mandatory for CQS firms.

    As much as they can annoy, one of the biggest conveyancing firms you find in transactions is Countrywide and with the number of estate agents referring to them it is common for them to appear in a chain. Given the money they spent on their own platform I cannot see (although may be mistaken) then signing up to pay money for a similar system to what they already use even if it then includes the other side. If the purpose is to make a whole chain open so all can check on progress then if they are not signed up the whole premise is flawed.

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  • Another step on the Law Socurty's glorious path of convincing the public that conveyancing is simple and lawyers who charge high fees are rip off merchants. "All you have to do is put the info into the system and the computer does the rest".

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