Too late to ban conveyancing referral fees

Nia Williams

November 30, 2009

This is because the expectations of consumers have moved on and a ban would leave solicitors even more isolated from potential clients, according to Steve Maine, managing director of OpenConvey, the online conveyancing referral portal.

He said, “It is a shame that the Law Society has seen fit to sabre rattle about banning referral fees, when clearly it should have consulted the many legal firms for whom referral fees are working and where, more importantly, there is no downside for the client, unless receiving a robust and cost effective service is now considered detrimental. Paying referral fees to business introducers is no different than paying for advertising. Regardless of the sensibilities of some Law Society members, the stark truth is that thankfully this side of legal representation is now subject to the same laws of supply and demand as any other service and while it might seem to have commoditised part of the profession, conveyancing has become slicker, cheaper and more representative of what consumers want, than was available in the past.”

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