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Back to face-to-face at a time of new beginnings

There’s nothing like meeting face-to-face, particularly in an organisation such as the CA which thrives on personal interaction and connection.

While Zoom or Teams has definitely been vital over the past 18 months-plus, the difference I’ve noted in terms of what we’re able to achieve sitting down in a room together since we were first able to do this in September, particularly at this months’ AGM and LMM/AMM meetings was effectively like chalk and cheese.

This month’s meetings were incredibly constructive although tinged with some slight sadness as we were saying goodbye to Lloyd Davies as the CA’s Operations Director, and Lloyd, Lisa Nyland and Angela Hesketh who have stepped down from the Policy & Strategy Board in recent months.

On the day I thanked all three for their excellent and vital contributions to the Association, but it is worthwhile reiterating those thanks in this blog, particularly Lloyd who has undoubtedly been a driving force for us.

In other news, we also announced we will be changing the Secretariat in the new year as Convey 365 concentrate on other business opportunities. Jess and Nicola will be with us up until then and are currently diligently organising our December conference. We are just finalising contract details and we’ll let you know who the new secretariat are in due course.

As mentioned, all three meetings were incredibly constructive. At our AGM, new changes to the Articles of the Association were passed which will strengthen our governance, while during both the LMM and AMM we were able to make some significant progress in outlining workstreams and what we wish to achieve.

As always, our meetings are not just ‘big picture’ in focus. At both we reviewed what individual conveyancing firms can do in order to reduce their risk profiles, particularly when it comes PI insurance renewal, but also in terms of mitigating against potential claims. As you might expect, there is a big emphasis on keeping file notes up to date and being able to prove without doubt the advice that was provided to clients. Being able to prove what you have done in terms of mitigating heavy workloads for your staff was also advised.

Given that one of our key policies is greater use of digital ID and checking, it was interesting to hear some commentators suggest that its use could potential reduce PII premiums by up to 50% in the future. Again, it’s these types of innovations that will provide benefit to firms and clients alike and we will continue to pursue them.

The following day we held a PSB workshop on ‘upfront information’ within the home buying and selling process and what that means to the CA and what we will support in terms of the information that should be included. That already feels like a major step forward to have achieved and we can now continue to press and lobby for these measures to be put in place.

Finally, a quick heads up for all that various trade and representative bodies – including the CA – will be launching updated versions of the LPE1, LPE2 and FME1 forms next month.

Overall, while we are coming to the end of the year, it does feel like a period of new beginnings for the Association. We’ll be discussing all this and more at our Annual Conference on the 2nd December, and we are most grateful for our Headline Sponsor, Visualfiles from LexisNexis and our Dinner Sponsor, Conveyancing Data Services.

If you’ve not yet booked your ticket, you can still do so – and find out all the details on the day itself – by visiting: https://conference.conveyancingassociation.org.uk/

We look forward to seeing you there.

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


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