The Law Society has unveiled a plan to revolutionise residential conveyancing by handling transactions online.
A conveyancing web portal, expected to go live in 2014, will streamline the process, improve communication between parties, save costs and time and improve risk management, the Society said.
Intended to be a pan-industry solution, the portal will allow all parties in a transaction to view up-to-date information on the process online in a secure and collaborative ‘deal room’, accessible through a mobile telephone or tablet computer. A feature called ‘chain view’ will enable parties to check what stage has been reached by everyone in a purchasing chain.
The initiative picks up the baton from the Land Registry of England and Wales’s e-conveyancing programme, which was abandoned in 2009 at a cost of £15m.
Law Society chief executive Desmond Hudson said: ‘Moving online will save you time and avoid the costs created by traditional paper-based approaches. It will help you work greener and smarter, working on the move, enabling you to manage your time and your staff time more effectively.
‘In the future we want to work with estate agents and lenders so that more of the key parties are in the portal. Right from the start it will dramatically improve collaboration with clients and other conveyancers.’
The portal will be available to all solicitors and licensed conveyancers. Those not accredited under the Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme will have to undergo vetting before they can use it.
Firms can participate in developing the system and be kept up to date with progress by emailing email@example.com.