I am sure all firms that undertake conveyancing will have had a fraught time with their professional indemnity insurance renewal this year, with most insurers refusing even to quote where property accounts for more than 50% of turnover.
While going through my PI file, I found a 1998 letter from the president of the Law Society sent to all solicitors stating: ‘It costs the profession an average of £80 to provide indemnity cover per side on each residential property transaction’ and urging all firms to ‘charge realistically’. The figure of £80 is presumably much greater now.
Is it too much to hope that the firms that advertise conveyancing services for ridiculously low rates, or which pay back part of their costs in bribes – sorry, referral fees – will now either realise that they cannot give a proper service for these amounts, or go bust as a few already have?
I fail to see why my firm, which has never had a conveyancing claim made against it, should support these cut-price operators through my increased premiums.
Nick Hutchinson, Nick Hutchinson & Co, Cheltenham