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I disagree, as do my fellow commentators, and I especially nodded to Anonymous 20 February 2018 14:57 , Anonymous 20 February 2018 14:21 and Daniel Stanton. Cash bungs attract work, with vast numbers of the public unsuspectingly herded because of them.

But, at last we now have focus on the elephant in the room…the actual individual who performs conveyancing in England & Wales.

1. any conveyancing firm can badge their office cleaner (no disrespect to cleaners I assure you) as a conveyancer – there is simply no regulation of the legal skill for a conveyancer
2. from that, there is no incentive on legal businesses to secure solicitor run conveyancing teams, nor individuals within teams who have a law degree, or any amount of years of training – as that costs money, and why eat into a typical conveyancing charge with a more expensive better trained conveyancer…
3. ….when…. no member of the public ever asks when seeking a conveyancing quote ‘so tell me about the person who will be handling my home move’
4. As a result:
a. legal businesses pop up and employ cheap staff, and then cash bung for conveyancing leads as again, the public don’t know to ask about he quality of the service
b. ‘just conveyancers’ spring up...or some ’conveyancing specialists’ to quote the article, when such folly is to ignore the fact that general solicitor firms guard their clients against the impact conveyancing has on a whole host of legal areas - trusts, employment, company, disputes, wills, probate, taxation, tenancies, estate planning, etc...- as they have these lawyers, some seriously expert ones too, in the same building. If you see conveyancing in isolation, or try and be a jack of all trades, then I fear for the exposed client not having all angles protected/advised upon
b. how many conveyancers, especially the commentators so far, typically have to spend 50-70% of their time on a clients file chasing the mediocre performance of the other conveyancer
c. delay and legal errors are rife, as conveyancers then lack the skill, the confidence, the interest

It is heart breaking for the conscientious conveyancer to hear a client turn down your conveyancing quote because they have ‘found cheaper’ or because ‘we just want your fee, we know all the ‘disbursements’ and we know the process, what is your fee’ – as price does not determine a quality conveyancer. But they are indoctrinated to think price is the difference between conveyancers.

Worse yet, there is a threat to make law firms publish prices, upfront, a one size ‘don’t tell us your circumstances, just look at our price on the website’ approach. The public have a tough time now, to find a decent conveyancer, imagine their hardship if that then happens. The race to the bottom of the price/quality barrel, as focusing customers of price only ever goes in one direction.

Will the regulators please focus on the legal skill of the conveyancer. Put aside price, put aside grandiose IT software, put aside digital this and that, portals etc. etc. The public need better legal skills. Giving a mediocre conveyancer all bells and whistles IT, with published prices on their websites, still means a mediocre conveyancer, now with all bells and whistles IT, and published prices on their websites. Nothing changes.

(Oh and please radically improve the TA6, improve the Conveyancing Protocol, better liaise with CML on the fine print of the CML Handbook as again, some of us conveyancers actually care to protect lenders too, not battle them, as they are our clients too, and we are fiercely loyal to clients.)

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