Property Law and Conveyancing
(mainly for lawyers)


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For information relevant to individuals rather than lawyers, see Conveyancing.

February 21st 2017.
e-signatures could replace signatures on Land Registry forms.
If a set of proposals by the Land Registry are approved, paper property deeds may finally be replaced by electronic documents and Solicitors would no longer be needed to witness signatures on paper documents. The Land Registry has opened a consultation on amending rules to allow documents to be signed online using the government’s Gov.UK.Verify process. Law Society president Robert Bourns described the move as a ‘positive step’, saying the Society had backed the use of electronic signatures last year with the publication of a practice note for commercial transactions. ‘We are considering the proposals in the rules consultation, and awaiting further important details on exactly how the proposed system will work,’ he said. ‘Our focus will be to ensure that they are practical and effective, and most importantly provide appropriate identity and security measures.’
More from Law Society Gazette and Today's Conveyancer.

  • The Law Society originally launched its Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) in 2010. This provides a recognised quality standard for residential conveyancing practices. Achievement of membership will establish a level of credibility for member firms with stakeholders (regulators, lenders, insurers and consumers) based upon:
    * the integrity of the Senior Responsible Officer and other key conveyancing staff.
    * the firm's adherence to good practice management standards.
    * adherence to prudent and efficient conveyancing procedures through the scheme protocol.
    The CQS is intended to help conveyancing solicitors, particularly those in small firms, demonstrate to lenders, consumers and insurers that they have effective risk assessment processes. Firms seeking membership of the scheme have their application assessed against a risk-based points system developed by the Law Society in conjunction with the Council of Mortgage Lenders and the Association of British Insurers.

  • The National Land Information Service (NLIS) is a government approved and regulated, electronic land and property searches portal, the only one of its kind in the property searches market. NLIS provides its services by way of a ‘hub’ and ‘channel’ model, operating as a convenient single point of electronic access to a variety of offical sources of land and property information. It connects users directly to land and property information held by local authorities, central government and other organisations that provide official sources of land and property data. NLIS Licensed Channels include Searchflow, Thames Water Property Searches. There are however other suppliers of property searches who are not part of the NLIS system.

  • The Conveyancing Association (CA) founded in 2010, is the membership body for the specialist conveyancer. It is a non-profit making body representing conveyancing operations throughout the UK with a view to shaping the future of conveyancing particularly the commercially-minded, service-focused conveyancer. Members process a wide variety of conveyancing and property transactions acting for both private and corporate clients.

  • Conveyancing Calculator is an Online Conveyancing Fees Calculator which Solicitors can put onto their own website to provide potential clients with an instant online conveyancing quote. The service is cloud based. Each solicitor who signs up to the service (which only costs £95 for a year for unlimited use) receives a unique username and password. This allows the solicitor to log in and set up their own fees, cost and disbursements. They can also customise the email that clients receive when they ask for a quote. It takes just minutes to set up the access to the facility. You can see how this works by visiting a solicitor's site here. See the "Best conveyancing Rates" banner at the right hand side which then leads to the detailed calculator here. The facility has been developed ay a web site design company called Guildford-IT and can be purchased via the Conveyancing Calculator site as above.

  • Clutton Cox host a Conveyancing Blog on their web site written by solicitor Paul Hajek covering topics of property, conveyancing and related areas of interest. From that site you can also link to other blogs in the series, including Estate Agency Blog, Housing Market Blog, Landlord and Tenant Blog and Mortgage Market Blog.

  • Jonny Law Online is a very useful site about property and property law maintained by Jonathan Achampong, a conveyancing solicitor with a major firm, Ashfords. There are sections on conveyancing, lease extensions, leasehold, enfranchisement and commercial property. There are also featured articles on news items and topics of current interest.

  • Today's Conveyancer is a free online newspaper for conveyancers with relevant news, resources and jobs. It is run by Chris Harris, previously Legal Serivices Director of Legal Marketing Services which is the largest panel manager of conveyancing services in the UK. The journal is dedicated to keeping UK conveyancers informed about the changes that are happening, whether they be regulatory, technological, lender or estate agent driven.

  • Per Pro is an organisation for estate agents surveyors and lawyers to promote and protect the interests of small independent property professionals in an environment increasingly geared to swell the profitability and success of large firms, threatening the very survival of small ones. Membership is open to independent estate agents, surveyors, brokers, solicitors and conveyancers.

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