Some in the profession may have their doubts about the Mears/Sayer/Edge approach to conveyancing. Brian Marson is one and in The Lawyer 19 December he made this clear.
In the same article he said he was also totally in favour of good quality conveyancing being carried out for much greater reward than it is currently possible to attain.
I tend to agree with Marson, although I believe the Law Society did not handle the problem as well as it should have. It is interesting that Edge managed to gain 11,000 signatures on the subject when the Law Society's paper 'Adapting for the future' received a poor response. Surely the Law Society could have got a better response on a subject so vital to the concerns of most high street practitioners.
I find it interesting that one man could write one letter and elicit such support when the might of the Law Society could not produce a fraction of the response.
However, the key to the problem is to find a sensible solution which will not detract from the reputation of the legal profession. Now that the subject is top of the agenda, those in charge should take advantage of this.
A sensible solution is needed and one which will not open the way for others outside the profession to move in. Australia has already gone down that slippery slope, with the Government encouraging non-legally qualified professionals to not only do conveyancing but also to undertake unrelated work. The legal profession must tread the conveyancing path very carefully, otherwise it has sacrificed the long-term goal for a short-term stop-gap.
Name and address withheld