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This of course begs the question as to what is a specialist conveyancer. In my experience a firm marketing itself as a specialist conveyancer with banners confirming CQS registration et cetera, is generally pretty meaningless, as evidenced by the utter garbage that frequently crosses my desk for those claiming such accolades.

Sadly these days price is commonly the driver, and the survey might well be right in suggesting that as many as 6 out of 10 (at least of those who cared to respond) seek multiple quotes; hardly a guarantee of quality.

At the end of the day you get what you pay for, and most clients are savvy enough to realise that you don't get a Rolls-Royce service for a bucket shop price. My firm does not advertise and has no intention of doing so. The vast majority of our conveyancing work comes from recommendation and from repeat business from an ever-growing circle of conveyancing clients. Furthermore, while we generally seek to charge a fixed fee, this is always qualified in any initial discussion and in our engagement letter by reference to the fact that we may well have to charge more if the work we carry out is rendered substantially more extensive than it should be, in our having to query and correct the nonsense generated by those who claim expertise, where clearly they have little or none (albeit worded in a slightly less blunt manner in the engagement letter !).

The true driver is residential conveyancing in small firms is the mortgagee panel memberships that such firms may have. I suspect many of the High Street firms the author had in mind may well have lost memberships, several mortgagees having in recent years culled those firms that do not generate sufficient volume. Minimum volumes as the criteron for panel membership in my view was a retrograde step, and inevitably will turn buyers away from those firms who cannot act on the related mortgage transaction for their preferred lender.

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