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CA Conference set out many future questions to be answered

I hope, by the time you read this, you will have just about recovered from the CA Conference & Annual Dinner.

We pack such a lot into the day (and night) and there is so much to take in, plus of course the networking, socialising, drinking and, dare I say it, dancing, that I forgive you if you felt the need to take it easy over the last couple of days.

Not that anyone ever seems to ‘take it easy’ in the conveyancing sector at any time. I’ve certainly learned that since I joined the CA.

However, there was such a lot to digest from the day and some differing opinions on a number of topics and potential ‘futures’ for the sector and firms, that again it is understandable if you are still working through your own take, particularly in terms of what a future conveyance might look like, and what the entire industry might be doing, or not doing, over the rest of the decade.

If you were not able to attend, or even if you were, then please keep an eye out for some of our forthcoming trade press articles – where we will highlight on both our Twitter and LinkedIn pages – that will endeavour to cover some of the topics and discussions which made the day such a worthwhile one.

On that point, I would like to thank everyone who did attend on the 7th. It was an excellent turnout – a point which was made to me by numerous people – and I think the focus and content of our sessions had much to do with this.

Who isn’t thinking about what the future might bring for our sector, especially in these changing times? The great steps that are being made, particularly in technology and all things digital, demand we consider what might be coming over the horizon, even if as was made abundantly clear a number of times, the big game changers have probably not even been invented yet.

There was a real sense that – and I certainly believe Professor Richard Susskind set this up beautifully in his presentation and final remarks – the future is still to be written and while we might err on the side of caution in terms of adopting evolution to our systems and processes, that may not be enough if a revolution turns up and throws everything out the window.

Far better therefore to write that future ourselves. To answer the question of who or what is the best solution to the ‘problem’ of conveyancing? Now it is clearly our firms, but there is a danger this might not be the case. Therefore, how can we shape our businesses and the service we provide so they are still the answer to the ‘problem’ in the future, and that the solution rests with us not others.

In a real true sense, there was a lot to get your head around, and while we admit that this revolution might not be abundantly clear in the next couple of years, by the end of the decade it could well be with us.

We certainly don’t want that solution to have passed us by. We want to be the ones who have come up with the solution and are now reaping the rewards. Again, as Richard said, rather than competing with the technological solutions we think are coming, why not build them ourselves?

Again, much to get our heads round, and we at the Association certainly want to be supporting all our member firms, not just highlighting what the issues are, but helping create those solutions.

Before I finish here, I have a few thank yous to make, Firstly, to Eddie Goldsmith and Beth Rudolf for curating the day’s sessions and chairing them, plus everyone who took part in the panels and presentations, and our incredibly hardworking Secretariat for pulling everything together to make the whole day and night such a wonderful success.

To our sponsors on the day, LMS (Headline) PEXA (Drinks Reception) and Conveyancing Data Services (Charity Dinner), and to all our Affiliates and exhibitors.

Plus of course, you our member firms and everyone who attended. As you will know, on the day we were fundraising on behalf of The Children’s Society ( and I’m pleased to say we raised a significant amount to give to this hugely worthwhile cause.

This was our big event, but we have more to come in 2023. Our next is a combined AGM, Legal Members and All Members Meeting taking place on the 15th May in the Howden offices in London.

We will build on the content of the Conference, with a specific look at what material/upfront information will mean in a practical sense for conveyancing firms and what potential options and opportunities this may deliver for the conveyancing process and conveyancers.

There are also other face-to-face meetings planned for September in York and December in London, and please look out for our workshops and webinars. We want to be as fully engaged with you and your needs through the year ahead.

And finally just to say that this blog was not written by ChatGPT – which was the ‘star’ of the Conference and I know left a mark on me – although judging by what it can come up with, I’m not ruling out using it in the future.

It and other forms of AI are clearly going to play a huge role in our sector and businesses as a whole in the future, but for now I’ll continue to bring you my thoughts, even if it seems that a computer may now have a better idea of my own mind, than me.

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

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