The current Royal Mail strike is a stark reminder of how even in an electronic age we are all still reliant on the post. The press have wasted no time in pointing out that strikes could lead to genuine hardship for several people and businesses.
The dispute could run on for months with the prospect of closed post boxes, unopened mailbags and letters and documents piling up in delivery offices. Conveyancing, even if it goes exceptionally well, can take a number of weeks to reach a successful conclusion. Choosing the right firm of conveyancing solicitors to entrust your property sale or purchase to has always been critical.
However, now more than ever, conveyancing lawyers without the ability to conduct conveyancing purely by electronic means (still the vast majority) or those with no contingency plan for coping with the strike, can seriously endanger your conveyancing transaction. It is therefore essential that you choose a conveyancing firm that will not be slowed up by the postal strike.
If you are currently searching for a conveyancing lawyer , be sure that:
- the firm accepts payment by way of credit card. Most property solicitors or conveyancing lawyers in the UK will not incur costs without money on account. If the law firm does not have a credit card facility, check that they will at least make the payment out of an office account and reimburse themselves as and when they receive your cheque.
- they use the alternative system known as the Document Exchange (DX). Most solicitors use this as an alternative postal system. Secure Mail Services (SMS) and DX Business Direct Ltd were founded amidst the postal strikes of the 1970s, DX was the first and only alternative to Royal Mail.
- they carry out personal searches and receive their searches back in an electronic format. Conveyancing firms that rely purely on searches which are posted back to them are going to slowed down by the postal strike.
- both their s and your preferred means of communication is email.
- the conveyancing firm is one of the few firms that will accept authorisation to sign and exchange contracts on your behalf as opposed to relying on your actual signature. It is a generally accepted practice that, in exceptional circumstances, if the contract cannot be signed by the seller or buyer, as long as they authorise their conveyancing lawyer to sign on their behalf, the contract is still binding.