A new buy-to-let lender, Fleet Mortgages, has created the first law firm panel made up only of members of the Conveyancing Association. CA chairman Eddie Goldsmith said he had held talks with others about a similar move.
More than 2,700 law firms have signed up for Lender Exchange, a website which stores information about conveyancing panel firms for mortgage lenders. However, negotiations with the Law Society over a relationship with the Conveyancing Quality Scheme have stalled.
A privately run portal that will centralise conveyancing panel member firms’ information on behalf of participating mortgage lenders, is gearing up for launch amid controversy fuelled by Law Society reservations about the scheme.
The Law Society last week finally launched its Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme (WIQS) last week with a warning to the profession that it needs to act to halt the fall in its market share. But the likes of the Co-op, AA and Saga will be able to apply for it too.
The Law Society is to ask members of its Conveyancing Quality Scheme whether they would fund a dedicated advertising campaign, it has emerged. Chief executive Des Hudson raised the possibility at a meeting of the Conveyancing Association last week.
The “popular myth” that conveyancing is low value is not borne out by the evidence, the Solicitors Regulation Authority has found. But property work is continuing to cause the regulator problems, with stamp duty land tax schemes and ‘right to buy’ negligence litigation firmly on its radar.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority giving solicitors positive permission to hold client money is one of the options it will consider as part of the review of conveyancing, it has emerged. It has also expressed concern about mortgage lenders using solicitors as an insurance policy against problems.
Just 8% of recent home-buyers would seek out a big brand such as the Co-op to handle their conveyancing the next time they move, a consumer survey has found as Conveyancing Association launched customer service ‘pledges’ that it says are a first for the industry.
Alternative business structures and external capital will intensify competition but do nothing to stimulate demand in the conveyancing market, a leading Law Society representative has said. Meanwhile, lenders have warned that they expect CQS to be more stringent.
Simply being a solicitor “is not enough” in the new legal market, but by raising standards further through accreditation schemes and using their brand recognition, solicitors can preserve a dominant market share, the Law Society’s chief executive has insisted.