The Law Society has teamed up with software company Mastek UK Limited to deliver its conveyancing portal, which aims to speed up the home-buying process.
The pair have set up a joint venture company called Legal Practice Technologies Ltd, which will launch its testing programme later this year.
On launch day, the plan is that the portal will give solicitor and licensed conveyancer users access to centralised case management, integrated workflows, secure and auditable communication between the two sides, client access, and online contract negotiation and exchange.
In addition, the portal will provide for verification of the other side, anti-money laundering checks, and a view of the chain.
Searches and HMRC transactions will be conducted outside of the portal for the first release.
The society said the portal would allow smaller firms to use the kind of technically advanced platform only normally available to “larger more technologically enabled firms, and enable solicitors as a profession, to maintain the highest standards”. It would also strengthen risk management and compliance.
Law Society deputy vice-president Jonathan Smithers said: “The portal will make it easier for conveyancing professionals to better serve the house-buying public.
“In its first phase the system will allow professionals to better communicate with each other, clients and other parties, satisfy due diligence obligations more quickly and at lower cost and facilitate the conveyance of residential property through established protocols.
“Mastek UK Limited was chosen as our partner in a joint venture following a rigorous research, development and negotiation process. This project has the potential to transform the way conveyancing works, so it was imperative that we found a partner with a strong track record in delivering secure, reliable IT projects for high-profile clients.”
Mastek UK is part of an Indian-headquartered global group, which also has a presence in the US, Canada and Asia-Pacific. Sudhakar Ram, managing director and group CEO, said: “Our partnership with the Law Society is an innovative approach that will empower conveyancing professionals with next-generation IT services.
“This strategic alliance is in line with Mastek’s vision of delivering transformational IT solutions that positively benefit the wider community with operational agility and significant savings in operating costs.”