Leading risk and compliance consultancy Legal Eye, has been assisting firms across England and Wales…
Today’s Conveyancer reports on new data from Search Acumen’s latest Conveyancing Market Tracker, which indicates (as if you had to be told) that pressure is mounting on firms across the conveyancing sector.
The bald figure – an average 79% increase in caseload per firm over the last decade – is interesting enough on its own. It’s no secret that the property market has seen increased activity over the past ten years, albeit with obvious peaks and troughs at various times.
The other relevant part of the data though, is the decrease in the number of firms operating – the number of active firms recorded over the same period dropped by 10%. That’s a significant drop in the number of firms able to carry out work, the demand for which has almost doubled over the same time.
Perhaps most concerning though, is the associated prediction by LexisNexis’ Gross Legal Product datapoints, which indicate a further 7% increase in demand for property lawyers and conveyancers over the course of 2023.
With the SRA enjoying more powers than ever to impose fines and sanctions on firms, and the first batch of firms ‘named and shamed’ by HMRC for various failures arguably caused in part by the massive pressure on the sector, it doesn’t really bode well for lawyers when that pressure looks, by all indicators, set to increase.
With PII premiums increasing as standard across the board, and increasing numbers of complaints from dissatisfied clients encouraged to look for errors in their previous SDLT calculations, the news that fewer firms are left to deal with an ever-spiralling workload could not be less welcome.
Ultimately, these are the kinds of pressures which we originally created Compass to address. SDLT is merely one component of the challenges faced by the modern firm. With the sheer volume and pace of changes imposed on the legislation surrounding the tax, it can very much feel like a conveyancer is expected to be a tax expert as well, albeit one who runs the risk of being fined for improper delivery of tax advice when things go wrong.
Using Compass not only greatly simplifies the SDLT calculation and submission process, with an intuitive interface and efficient systems which ensure opportunities for human error are removed, but it also provides protection for your firm and its reputation. Outsourcing the responsibility for SDLT calculation to an outside provider means less risk on your PII, exponentially less scope for error, and ultimately, happier clients.
Call us today or visit our website to see how Compass can ease the pressure on your firm and help guide you towards calmer conveyancing waters.