Bringing the house down: Robert Barham quoted in the Law Gazette
The feature explores systemic problems for residential conveyancers stating that the sustained property boom which arose from the SDLT ‘holiday’, for various reasons, has not been a rewarding time.
Robert comments "The general trend of conveyancers requiring every small point to be answered continues with ever more detail being required," he says. "Sometimes this applies even where the answers are not helpful or even particularly relevant and would have no impact on a buyer’s decision to proceed. Increasingly solicitors are not willing to “take a view” nor to permit their clients to, even if they want to, particularly where there is a mortgage."
One reason for this, Barham contends, is that "a lot of conveyancing is now done by paralegals with solicitors in a supervisory role. It is more difficult for paralegals to decide what is important and what is not, hence the concentration on small details referred to above which may not be that important either legally or to the client".
He goes on to comment "Conveyancers have come to recognise that conveyancing is not easy and simply cannot be done at knock-down prices, particularly leasehold property. Therefore, charges have risen over the last few years and are now more realistic".