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Digital conveyancing creates questions for regulators and government – CLC

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  • 28/01/2020
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Digital conveyancing creates questions for regulators and government – CLC
Conveyancing is to become increasingly automated over the coming years, throwing up key questions for regulators and the government about the industry, according to a report from the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC).

 

Digital changes will provide both time and cost savings to conveyancers, which can be reinvested in improving the quality of service, upgrading technology and ensuring cyber security, the report Conveyancing 2030: A Discussion Paper said.

However, the industry must consider whether government should mandate the move to electronic conveyancing, rather than wait for incremental change.

Other questions included whether the law firm model will need to evolve to survive, and the extent to which regulators might need to regulate technology as well as lawyers.

 

Property details to be available upfront

Information on a property will be more readily available at the point of marketing – rather than later in the process, according to the CLC report.

The paper said: “Technology will radically improve transparency for consumers about what they are buying and the progress of their transaction.

“Because of the Internet of Things, properties will maintain up-to-date logbooks with little human intervention.”

But answers are needed on who will validate the information and become responsible if that data is incorrect or something goes wrong, the paper added.

 

Service ratings will decide conveyancer business levels

The quality of service and advice from property lawyers – as rated by external comparison or feedback websites – will be decisive in where instructions go.

The paper added: “As the role changes, conveyancers will need to invest in training and skills acquisition for themselves and their staff.

“Soft skills such as communication, listening, and empathy will become ever more important as the ability to build relationships becomes even more central.”

CLC chairwoman Dame Janet Paraskeva said: “I think many lawyers will be heartened by the prediction that there will be a greater focus on advisory work as the market changes and that it can be used to create a point of differentiation.

“However, while we can predict certain shifts in the market with confidence – in particular the inevitable move to electronic conveyancing – how they play out over the next decade remains uncertain.

“With so much work going on to improve and reform the process, we think now is the right time to take a wider view on what this all means in the long term and how we can ensure that the home buying and selling process works best for consumers, service providers and ultimately the UK economy.”

 

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