Moving forward: Liberalising the Delivery of Conveyancing Services

The Legal Services Board (LSB)  has now  published it’s detailed proposals for reforming the delivery of legal services, including UK Conveyancing.

Over the last 15 years UK Conveyancing Solicitors have witnessed high-momentum innovation and increased efficiency whilst driving down fees to the public. Nevertheless, many conveyancing firms operating under current regulatory constraints are operating in ways which mean that they do not have the organisational freedom available to other businesses.

The new LSB proposals will enshrine and reinforce the essential protections that consumers - and citizens - require. The provision of legal services including UK Conveyancing, it is hoped, will meet the legitimate demands of the society it serves.
Chairman of the Legal Services Board David Edmonds said.

”We are proposing the introduction of a common and consistent licensing framework for those lawyers and firms – and those who would like to invest in legal service provision – which should promote wider choice and variety and which has robust consumer protection at its heart.

The new proposals give lawyers – and new business partners - much greater flexibility in how they organise and collaborate with each other and also other professionals. We want to encourage new entrants into the legal services market to bring new ways of working and new competitive pressures. These will increase choice for consumers, whilst offering better-tailored and better value packages of professional services. ”

The LSB paper proposes removing the previous restrictions that prevented non-lawyers from owning legal service businesses such as conveyancing firms. The new rules will mean that lawyers will have new freedoms to provide conveyancing  services alongside services from non-lawyers. It is this law that has led what some term as “ Tesco Law “ to become a possibility.

The LSB and the governments are well aware that bullet-proof  framework of consumer protection, professional competence and commercial integrity is  needed.   The proposal outlines a number of key protections for consumers, including a test to ensure non-lawyer owners and managers of new forms of legal practice are ‘fit and proper’.