Are Conveyancing Fees Set to Rise?

A number of big press organisations including the Times have highlighted in recent days the point of conveyancing practices being hit by soaring insurance premiums.   Please see Small law firms threatened by soaring insurance costs.

Conveyancing has traditionally been an area of high risk for solicitors’ practices, strictly one third of negligence cases against solicitors being in the field of conveyancing.

According to a BBC report insurance premiums are likely to increase significantly for those solicitors practices concentrating on conveyancing and in the circumstances those firms are going to have to cater for the increased premium by increasing fees or alternatively closing down the conveyancing department.  

This comes at a time when conveyancing work is scarce as a result of the downturn in the property market.   It also comes at a time when many online conveyancing brokerages are putting an increased squeeze on conveyancing firms by driving up referral fees paid to the corporate head offices.   It has come to our attention that one particular estate agency is now charging solicitors on their conveyancing panel up to £600 a referral fee for each conveyancing case passed over.  

This leaves the conveyancing firm with approximately £150 per case even though the client may be paying a £750 premium for conveyancing.   All the indicators suggest that conveyancing solicitors may be left with little choice but to increase their conveyancing fees.  

Fridaysmove has no intention of increasing its conveyancing fees and is fortunate to have, due to its excellent claims history, to have its insurance premium go down as opposed to up.