Bronwyn Townsend, Senior Marketing Manager at InfoTrack, outlines how technology can help in conveyancing practices where some processes are resistant to digitisation

It’s now possible to complete a majority of the tasks associated with the conveyancing process through digital tools. However, data from the Digital Conveyancing Maturity Index tells another story – many firms are not utilising technology in some of the most labour-intensive areas of the conveyancing process – missing some key opportunities.

Adopting digital processes

Findings from the study identified post-completion as the area of conveyancing leading the way for digital adoption in conveyancing, with one third of firms attaining the highest possible level of digital maturity in this area. The rapidly increasing trajectory of this trend is no doubt driven by HM Land Registry’s (HMLR) digital AP1 mandate coming into effect from November 2022.

It’s also a much smaller part of the process, making the barrier to entry less challenging with fewer processes to be digitised and adopted. However, for many firms the pre-completion process remains stubbornly resistant to digitisation and certain procedures such as client onboarding and compliance checks show a lag in uptake. Despite the bulk of the work falling within this area and a choice of suitable digital solutions available, firms appear to be cautiously biding their time before changing their ways. These are missed opportunities that, if addressed, could improve efficiencies and productivity for firms.

End-to-end digitisation

So, what are the challenges with the transition to end-to-end digital conveyancing and how can they be overcome?

  • Digital solutions that address all stakeholders with positive outcomes are far more likely to see greater adoption than those that only address one or two key concerns. Successful digital conveyancing processes must have law firms, their staff, and their clients participating and pulling in the same direction.
  • Consumers are looking for an online experience more aligned with modernised services they now associate with the ability to manage life from the palm of their hand.
  • Staff need a way to enhance productivity and efficiency, so they don’t continue to be inundated with transactions.
  • Law firms need to see the benefits of both sides reflected in business growth.

Technology solutions make the roadmap to end-to-end digital conveyancing a very possible reality. With entire toolkits at their disposal, law firms can quickly implement and reap the rewards of new technologies with minimal disruption to their businesses.

Many are starting to question whether digital-first mandates for other tasks within the conveyancing processes are essential, following suit with AP1s. While we’re yet to see any affirmative action, firms need not wait to benefit from systems that relieve the burden of laborious tasks that can be open to the risk of human error.

Instead, law firms can get ahead now. With HMLR outlining their vision for digital conveyancing by 2025, we are likely to see a shift in the adoption of digital conveyancing tools. But why wait another three years? The technology is already here, and end-to-end digital conveyancing can be too.

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