Alternative business structures are far more likely to invest in their businesses than non-ABSs, research in the licensed conveyancer community has suggested. The survey provided an unprecedented snapshot of how this part of the legal market operates, including what it charges.
The Council for Licensed Conveyancers is to continue its bid to regulate the conduct of litigation but will focus on property-related litigation, it has announced. Meanwhile, the regulator is to farm out its role as an education provider because of a “clear conflict”.
The Law Society’s conveyancing quality scheme and lender-specific requirements amount to double regulation of lawyers and there needs to be a sector-wide effort to resolve the problem, the Council for Licensed Conveyancers has urged.
The Legal Services Board has backed improvements to the transparency of referral fees paid by licensed conveyancers following a review that found absolutely no justification for a ban.
A ban on referral fees in conveyancing is unjustifiable, according to a narrow majority of respondents to a Council for Licensed Conveyancers consultation – but there was strong support for enhanced disclosure requirements.
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 will create “conveyancing factories” that exert a downward pressure on prices and could lead to an upsurge in complaints because of a focus on volume over service, the Legal Ombudsman has warned.
The Council for Licensed Conveyancers has rejected Law Society calls for a ban on referral fees in conveyancing, although it is proposing to increase the disclosure requirements on firms. It found “little evidence of significant detriment” to consumers.
A volume conveyancing business owned by Britain’s fourth largest building society is targeting a move into other areas of legal services after receiving its alternative business structure (ABS) licence.
The Law Society has called on the government to lead a “mediated dialogue” with mortgage lenders to deliver “an amicable long-term solution” to the ongoing arguments over conveyancing panels. It has asked business secretary Vince Cable to intervene.