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My company is providing title insurance cover to Kensington Mortgage Company and its borrowers (see "Mortgage firm promotes title cover", The Lawyer, 2 September, 1997) and I would like to add a few comments.
First, I do not believe that the profession has anything to fear from London & European's products as Mervyn Rundle suggests, nor do I believe that title insurance is so widely misunderstood among solicitors.
London & European receives daily enquiries from solicitors eager to find out more about my company's products and incorporate them into their day-to-day conveyancing work. Speaking as a solicitor myself I am, however, pleased to note that a Law Society spokesperson clearly has an open mind on the subject of title insurance.
Second, the Kensington scheme has been warmly received and again London & European has received many calls from solicitors congratulating Kensington on its forward thinking, praising the product for the benefits and great savings in both time and expense and enquiring whether London & European's product can be used in conjunction with other business.
Further, rather than "taking work away", the Kensington scheme, incorporating London & European's title insurance products, allows the borrower's solicitor to continue to act for the lender as well.
The final and perhaps most significant point is that London & European Title Insurance Services does not seek to "completely re-vamp the house-buying process". Such wholesale change will almost certainly result in a loss of work to the profession, cause mortgage lenders to incur great expense in altering their internal procedures and produce confusion among the house-buying public.
Instead, London & European seeks to work alongside conveyancing solicitors and the lending industry, developing products that produce genuine benefits not only to the house-buying public and mortgage lenders, but to solicitors as well.