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Conveyancing Association outlines campaign progress and updates from House of Lords meeting

The Conveyancing Association’s (CA), the leading trade body for the conveyancing industry, has today (21st November 2016) provided a number of updates, including progress on its campaign work, following its recent Management and All Member meetings which took place at both RICS Parliament offices and the House of Lords.

Following on from the Association’s campaign work to change negative leasehold management practices to ensure a fairer, more transparent outcome for clients and a quicker transaction process, a Leasehold Roundtable was held at the All Member Meeting.

Chaired by the CA’s Director of Delivery, Beth Rudolf, it brought together representatives from a number of key organisations including: the Regional Judge for London, the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, the Property Redress Scheme, the Federation of Private Resident’s Association, The Law Society, CILEX, The Property Ombudsman, and the Ombudsman Services (Property).

The Roundtable discussed some key fundamentals of the CA’s campaign, including cost transparency; the introduction of a suitable redress scheme; access to, and speed of, Tribunal hearings; and securing Government interest and potentially new regulation.

Following the Roundtable, the CA agreed to continue with its campaign to promote an adequate leasehold redress scheme for clients and a faster release of leasehold information. The Leasehold Campaign also plays a pivotal role in the CA’s recently-published White Paper.

At the meetings, the CA also made a number of decisions and announcements:

  • The CA has also welcomed a new Director to its Executive Committee following the resignation of Rob Gurney (Premier Property Lawyers). Rob has been replaced by Victoria Mortimer, Head of QCAS at Shulmans, who becomes a Director of the CA with immediate effect.
  • The CA also announced members, Advantage Property Lawyers (APL), have become the latest firm to sign-up to its Cyber Safe Scheme and achieve the required accreditation. APL was able to demonstrate it has the necessary processes in place to be certified under the Cyber Essentials Scheme for IT security – or its equivalent. The CA’s Cyber Safe Scheme was launched earlier this year and was designed to support member firms and their clients in reducing their exposure to cyber-crime and fraud.
  • An update to the CA’s Cyber Security and Fraud Protocol – launched earlier this year – is currently being worked on and will be published in 2017.

The CA also announced it has been pleased with the response to its recently published White Paper, ‘Modernising the Home Moving Process’, and the debate it has opened up.  There will be a full discussion of the White Paper, the solutions it offers, and how the home moving process can be improved for all, at its ‘Modernising Conveyancing’ conference which takes place on Thursday 1st December at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea.

The full version of the White Paper is available to download from the CA’s website on its Campaigns page.

A representative from each of the top 200 conveyancing firms in the UK has been invited to attend the CA conference free of charge. At present, over 170 delegates have signed up to attend, with the anticipation that this will top 200 – major industry stakeholders will be represented and currently the delegates come from over 70 law firms.

Other stakeholders such as estate agents, mortgage advisers or lenders are also invited to attend both the conference and dinner by booking tickets through the CA conference website.

Eddie Goldsmith, Chairman of The Conveyancing Association and Partner at Goldsmith Williams, said:

“Our most recent Management and All-Member meeting resulted in a number of updates from the Association, plus detail on significant progress in a number of areas. It was an action-packed meeting which, as its focal point, included a Leasehold Roundtable debate which highlighted how important our work is in this area and the need to continue with our campaign objectives.

“We were also delighted to welcome our new Director, Victoria Mortimer, and to hear how our member firms are implementing the necessary requirements of our Cyber Safe Scheme to become fully accredited in this important area.

“At our House of Lords Dinner, we were also lucky enough to hear from Lord Falconer of Thoroton who gave his thoughts on how Brexit might impact on housing policy and strategy – it was clear that the CA will play a very important role over the coming years as the Government concentrates on delivering Brexit.

“These meetings also highlighted how the CA has gone from strength to strength during 2016 and we believe our strong focus on individual campaigns, as well as our belief in pursuing change within the home buying process, are fundamental to our raison d’être.

“Conveyancing firms need a strong trade association voice and our aim to have as many of the top 200 businesses in the country as members is gaining traction – at this moment in time we have over 20 potential new members going through the application process and we will be looking to bring these on board in the new year.  Our ‘Modernising Conveyancing’ conference should have many of those 200 firms represented, as well as other stakeholders, and we are looking forward to what promises to be a significant discussion and a pivotal moment for the UK’s conveyancers. We hope you’ll be able to join us.”

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