Andrew Lloyd, Managing Director of Search Acumen, comments on the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) Conveyancing 2030 paper, where it was recognised as a key player in the digitalisation of the industry:
“The potential for transforming the property sector over the next ten years is huge. We discuss three central changes in data, skills and regulation which will be crucial to achieving this shift.
“Accessible, accurate and timely data is the first cornerstone to improving the market. Public and private bodies need to be better at digitalising existing data sets, but we must also look further afield to capture new data sources from smart homes and cities. Moving towards a real-time model of data availability – where relevant data is always available in a standardised format – is crucial to provide all those involved in a transaction access to all relevant information at the time they need it.
“Changing the way that technology supports the property due diligence process will inevitably lead to a radical change in the role of conveyancers and commercial property lawyers, along with the structure of the market. As technology takes on mundane legal tasks, conveyancers will be empowered to do more and are likely to branch out into other areas of the process. In more complex cases, conveyancers will see a transition from being a source of information to being a trusted advisor on data interpretation and analysis. Upskilling and technical training will be essential, however, we also believe that law firms should be looking outside the traditional conveyancer for people with new skills.
“A new approach to data and technology inevitably brings regulatory challenges in how they are standardised and policed. We therefore need to work hand in hand with regulators to ensure that the progress of technology always serves consumers. They need to have confidence that data is accurate, and they need to be able to compare services of different providers. Industry standardisation is therefore essential.
“However, we must not be beholden to regulators to provide a pathway to progress. Instead, innovation must come from industry, with the regulator taking a more agile approach of observing and assessing innovation to ensure consumer protection. We urge the industry to be agile, adopt technology, education and embrace change for the advancement of the entire sector.”