CLC: The role of the conveyancer will change

Jessica Nangle

January 28, 2020

The role of the conveyancer will change as much of the administrative side of the role becomes automated in coming years, according to a new paper from the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC).

The paper, entitled ‘Conveyancing 2030: A Discussion Paper’, discusses how conveyancers will make both time and cost savings which will be reinvested in improving the quality of service, upgrading technology and ensuring cyber security.

The report says 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.”

The paper looks at how the conveyancing process has and will continue to change, and highlights a range of questions that everyone involved will have to look at to ensure that consumers benefit from it.

While the paper does not try to provide answers to all of the issues identified, it does seek to highlight areas the CLC believes will need considering by regulators, those in conveyancing and the wider stakeholders who will affect and influence how conveyancing will develop.

Key questions for the industry outlined in the paper include whether government should mandate the move to electronic conveyancing rather than wait for incremental change and whether the law firm model will need to evolve to survive.

Dame Janet Paraskeva, chair of the CLC, 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.

“We do not claim to have all the answers but with change coming it is vital that we as a regulator and the community we regulate are thinking about how we make sure we are ready for what future developments may bring.

“I hope this report will fuel a discussion across the property industry and that conveyancers themselves will grasp the opportunity to shape their future.”

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