E-conveyancing : A brief history

The Land Registry have been developing Ideas for reworking the conveyancing process in England and Wales for several years now. In 1998, the joint report by the Law Commission and Land Registry entitled Land Registration for the Twenty First Century (Law Com 254) set out joint proposals. This led to Land Registry being appointed as the lead government department to introduce e-conveyancing.

The Land Registration Act 2002 set up the laws that enable e-conveyancing services. Secondary legislation will be required to support new services.

Consultation has been extensive since the Land Registry’s first proposals in 2002. Particular emphasis has been given to consulting with Conveyancing Solicitors, property lawyer s, lenders, their representative bodies, and buyers and sellers.

Looking at the experience of large-scale changes in public and private sectors, the Land Registry  do not believe e-conveyancing can successfully be introduced as a 'big bang'. They aim to introduce new services in stages, twice a year from 2008. The Land Registry have already launched a number of electronic conveyancing services in this way such as ENDs, e-lodgement, and public access to title registers and plans online for 20 million properties.