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Conveyancers ‘hesitant’ to raise fees despite too much work

The Council for Licensed Conveyancers has been told responsibilities are increasing all the time, but fees haven't gone up.

David Callaghan

conveyancing

Conveyancers are shouldering an ever-increasing weight of responsibilities, but are hesitant about raising their fees, the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) was told.

Clients do not understand the conveyancing process, and this held back moves to increase fees, a roundtable hosted by CLC heard.

Participants discussed how understanding where data comes from is critical to the push for upfront information as a way to speed up the process.

Distorted

Peter Rodd, Law Society Council

Peter Rodd, the residential conveyancing representative on the Law Society Council, argued that prices have become even more distorted as more responsibilities are loaded onto conveyancers.

“We now have the question of climate. To what extent is the conveyancer going to be responsible to their clients for advising on those issues and the possibility of flooding?”

Stephen Ward image

Stephen Ward, Strategy Director, CLC

Stephen Ward, strategy director at CLC, said: “Lawyers have found it very difficult to describe to their clients the value of what they do. You can list out the prices, but what is the value?”

Doubled
Rob Gurney - Ochresoft

Rob Gurney, MD, Ochresoft

Rob Gurney, a former licensed conveyancer and current managing director of Ochresoft, part of Landmark Information Group, said Landmark estimated conveyancers’ responsibilities have doubled in the last 15 to 20 years.

“The expectation of the consumer is impossible to meet, whereas, 15 to 20 years ago, we could meet it,” he said.

Itching
Paul Bennett - Bennett Briegal

Paul Bennett, Partner, Bennett Briegal

Paul Bennett, partner at Bennett Briegal, said many conveyancers are itching to increase their prices but remain worried about the impact.

They need to explain what they do and ensure the communication is clear. “Be brave and charge for the work that you do,” he said.

Those who have increased fees by relatively modest amounts initially “have gone on to raise those fees again and again over the coming years”.

Read more about conveyancers.

November 30, 2023

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