Veyo is still being tested, Law society president says


jonathan smithers

Smithers: “we have to get this right”

Veyo is still being tested and there is no fixed date for its national launch, the president of the Law Society told property lawyers last week.

Jonathan Smithers said development of the conveyancing portal carried risks and “sometimes plans need to change”, but prolonged testing would ensure that “we get this right”.

Speaking at the National Property Law Conference last week, he said: “Clearly the publicity ran well ahead of the product, but we did not know then what we know now.”

Asked by Rob Hailstone, founder of the Bold Legal Group, when conveyancers would see Veyo in the marketplace, Mr Smithers said he would not answer that question any more than he had on previous occasions.

“We have got to get this right. We’re doing something new. The mistake would be to say we’re going to do something and not perform.”

Des Hudson, former chief executive of the Law Society, left his post as chair of Veyo this summer and was replaced by Ian Gray, director of the US-based Turnaround Management Association.

Coveyancing search provider SearchFlow announced last week that it had appointed Veyo’s commercial group marketing and communications directors, Stephanie Van den Haak and Maud Rousseau, to similar roles.

Legal Practice Technologies, the joint venture between the Law Society and IT giant Mastek which runs Veyo, also announced last week that Simon Drane, the society’s executive director of business development, had been appointed chief executive.

Mr Smithers said it was the society’s duty to “look to the future and innovate” and help solicitors compete in a rapidly changing market.

He said solicitors should not “bury their heads in the sand” over the danger of cyber crime, at a time when fraud among law firms had increased significantly over the last year.

He acknowledged that panel membership still remained a difficult issue for small firms, and society would continue to make representations to lenders.

Answering a question about the society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) from a delegate who complained that it had taken seven months for him to get reaccredited, Ms Smithers said the society was considering “cutting down” the procedures.

“I think we will end up with a much smaller and easier process,” he added.

An electronic poll of around 200 delegates at the conference revealed that 37% are still not using a case management system in their transactional work.

Almost two-thirds of delegates said they believed the number of residential conveyancing transactions would grow over the next six months – 48% “slightly” and 22% “significantly”. The figures were similarly positive for commercial conveyancing, with 19% saying they expected transactions to grow significantly and 48% slightly.

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    Readers Comments

  • Rob Hailstone says:

    Two years into Veyo, twelve months after heavy advertising, five months after the launch that wasn’t a launch and a few weeks after a mass exodus of Veyo employees and there is still no timeline. No other business would be allowed to be run this way.


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