When we talk about conveyancing, we do so in the context of the constant and immense pressures facing solicitors amid the ever-presence of a global pandemic and a hard, hard market. Predicting what the future holds, even if we had the time to sit down and really think about it, feels like an impossible luxury!
However, part of the Law Society’s role is to perform exactly that function, to look to the future, to influence the direction of travel and enact positive change. To this end, I am excited to confirm that, as far as conveyancing is concerned, what is coming will be better than what has gone.
The Law Society is excited to announce a pilot project, with legal technology providers InfoTrack and Perfect Portal, to provide a wholly digital facility for the collection of up-front information using the TA6.
The TA6 provides crucial information about a property, exponentially useful to buyers and estate agents when marketing a property.
However, until recently, collating the data from multiple parties was only possible post offer, after a solicitor was instructed.
Working with the Law Society’s conveyancing and land law committee, the key early marketing questions have been identified in what will be known as the TA6 Part 1. In this pilot project, Part 1 can be completed by the seller upfront and fed into the full TA6 (Part 2). This will solve a challenge the market has been facing for many years, both in relation to the collection of information much earlier in a transaction, and also the way consumers and stakeholders interact with digital data and automation across a multitude of devices.
This will mark the first time that key elements from the TA6 will be formally available to consumers and estate agents at the point at which a property is listed. Moreover, the data we receive from the pilot will help us review and improve the transaction forms. We’ll be able to take account of where people stumble, what questions generate the most queries, and even the time spent on individual questions. We’ll end up with rich, insightful data that will help us to iterate and improve.
We’ll continue to listen and respond to the market, our network of stakeholders and policymakers to ensure the transaction forms, and their provision to the market, meet the needs and functional requirements of modern practice.
We’ll also continue to work with our network of third-party suppliers to embed the expanded TA6 functionality and promote their compelling workflow solutions.
The project aims
As part of the pilot project, the Law Society hopes to prove that the new TA6 Part 1 workflow and data set:
- is easily understood;
- is accessible on any device;
- is intuitive;
- integrates seamlessly with the full TA6;
- supports estate agents to achieve sales more quickly;
- supports the earlier instruction of solicitors; and,
- reduces the time it takes to complete a sale or purchase generally.
Following successful conclusion of the pilot project, the TA6 Part 1 will be made available to the market via the Law Society’s network of licensed transaction form providers.
A simpler future
We commit to continuing to update all our members with more details of the pilot project in the coming weeks and months.
Although the pilot will be run with a closed test group, we will ensure that the meaningful feedback we receive will shape a facility that works for all conveyancing stakeholders.
We also look forward to working with our software suppliers to ensure that the launch of the new facility functions digitally and is capable of intuitively interacting with the TA6 Part 2.
For the Law Society, the concept of being able to provide information earlier in a transaction only works when it can be collected seamlessly and integrated into existing, digital workflows. On paper this sounds ‘simple’, but as is often the case with simple outputs, the simpler the solution the more complex the delivery.
We cannot underestimate the necessity of thoughtful development and implementation. To that end, we are excited to look to the digital experts, the organisations who live and breathe ‘complex to simple’, to show us the way.
Improvement before change
For the Law Society, this project isn’t about changing the world of conveyancing, it’s about improving it.
What’s the distinction? Well, for us it’s about proving the expanded utility of the TA6, about standing behind the experience and know-how of a broad church of excellent software suppliers and supporting progression that achieves its aims seamlessly.
We commit to keeping the market updated as we progress through the stages of the project. This is an iterative process that we are committed to ensuring works for all.
Finally, although there remains what I believe is only a short space of time between where we are and where we will be, I remain confident that what will come will be better than what has gone!
Andrew Moroney, the Law Society’s commercial proposition manager