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Always a positive to accentuate the positives

At this time of year, the calendar seems to be full of industry events, roundtables, panels and sessions, as well as a number of Award ceremonies designed to reflect a positive light on the sector.

As I write this, I’m a day away from attending the annual ESTAs taking place in London, which will be bringing all kinds of property market stakeholders together including agents, conveyancers and advisers.

With a regional and national focus for individual conveyancing firms, I’m delighted to see so many CA member firms up for nomination, and I’m sure a large number of them will be taking home the spoils.

I’m also fortunate to be the Vice-Chair Judge for the Modern Law Conveyancing Awards which covers specific awards for conveyancers but also search providers, innovation, rising stars, best use of technology, and many more.

The Awards Ceremony – which takes place on the 16th November in Liverpool – is bound to be a positive evening at which we get the chance to celebrate the best in our sector.

I’m conscious that this current marketplace is not the best it could be for conveyancing firms, and I know many across the entire industry are focused on their businesses, and are potentially having to make some difficult decisions.

There could be an argument that, in such an environment, Award ceremonies and the like, are a somewhat frivolous distraction.

I think however I would argue the opposite, that it is always a positive to recognise excellence within our sector regardless of market conditions. This is a difficult service to provide at the very best of times, and it has always struck me just how hard people in this sector work, and quite frankly, what many firms are still able to achieve even in conditions which you might not describe as favourable.

It therefore seems to be absolutely right and proper that firms are recognised for what they do day-in, day-out, and if they are providing an excellent service, if they are pushing the envelope in terms of their outcomes for consumers, if they are investing in their people and culture, if they are going above and beyond in terms of their proposition, then why shouldn’t that be rewarded?

And, from my perspective, it’s not as off there is a surfeit of Awards for conveyancers and others to be getting involved in and to be recognised by. Those days of countless black tie ‘do’s’ seem to be long gone, and therefore when we do get an opportunity to draw attention to our sector, the firms that work in it and the jobs they carry out, we should not deny ourselves that.

And, perhaps as mentioned, there is an argument to suggest that this is even more important during a difficult, or quieter, period.

Having acted as Vice Chair for the Modern Law awards, I have been able to read all the submissions and, some of the work that is being carried out, some of the people who work within the sector, and some of the initiatives and projects taking place, are amazing and somewhat mind-blowing.

This is a sector which seems to have few opportunities to bask in a reflective glow and therefore I defy anyone to begrudge the firms who want to apply, who are shortlisted, and hopefully go on to win, their moment in the sun. A pre-emptive congratulations to all those who do win, but also to all those who are currently fighting the good fight for their employees and their customers right now.

Of course, at this point it would be remiss of me not to mention a couple of important CA event dates for your diary that are coming up relatively soon. First up, is our series of member meetings in London on the 7th December and next year we have our Annual Conference and Dinner, taking place on the 6th February up in Manchester.

I’m sure I’ll be bumping into a lot of you over the weeks ahead, but please make sure you also attend these very important CA days in December and February. There’ll be lots to discuss and hopefully lots to celebrate.

Nicky Heathcote is Non-Executive Chair at the Conveyancing Association (CA)



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