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Alan Murray
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my expertise in the industry

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Alan Murray
I have read a lot of crocodile tears from people who keep saying "there but for the grace of God go I". Yet these were the same people who at the end of the SDLT holiday were coming out with comments bemoaning the long delays in matters progressing etc etc. A lot of unintelligible gibberish has been spouted by the usual suspects elsewhere so I will not say anything here which will get me called a dinosaur or troll (i am not, look it up). Though the most important point of the whole debacle has to me been missed, which is why I have approached proper journalists to get together some facts which will see the whole scandal this issue highlights brought into more public focus. I care passionately about conveyancing and do not want to head into retirement next year thinking this was the straw which broke the camel's back and was the day conveyancing died. We have the chance to do a root and branch overhaul of the whole system based on what has come to light in the last few weeks which showed the way these firms operate to be even more rotten than suspected. Clearly the CLC want to sweep the whole episode under the carpet which doesn't surprise anyone, so I would like to think there will be a proper enquiry at a much higher level which will give conveyancing a chance to be returned to the professionals again. We cannot continue allowing law firms to be run by non-professionals, referral fees to create huge chains where one firm is acting (the CLC should have already looked into their ludicrous policy of allowing the same firm to act on either side of a transaction, any proper conveyancer will tell you it cannot be done without creating a conflict of interest), and outsourcing to other continents, amongst many other things. None of it, as has been proved, is in the best interests of clients. Unfortunately these firms lost sight of that in the race to the bottom, and this is what happens.

From: Alan Murray 22 November 2021 14:40 PM

Alan Murray

From: Alan Murray 28 October 2020 10:17 AM

Alan Murray
It does seem to me it is open season on kicking conveyancers at the moment. Yes some of it is perfectly justified when aimed at the thirty or so factory outfits who cause us all problems. Though Estate Agents should not forget that those outfits exist purely because of the referral fees paid to them by Agents in the first place. So careful what you complain about. Technology is not the answer that is a red herring thrown around by the inexperienced lawyers straight out of university who want to look cool and hip, or the bandwagon jumpers who try every new idea that hits the market for the same reason. Experience and expertise from staff will always trump technology. Problem is there is a massive shortage of experienced people due to so many retiring after the last recession, and a lack of training being given to newcomers. Yes there is no doubt over the years the conveyancing profession has become complacent and a mess. Too many bad firms are allowed to proliferate unchecked and proper regulation is needed. Too many non law people and entrepreneurs have seen conveyancing as a business where they can make a fast buck. None of their investment has added anything to the profession but whilst they are making money they will not care. In a few years they will be gone with their profits but who will be around to pick up the pieces? As someone with so much experience who has seen so much I am saddened by where conveyancing is today. Unfortunately years and years of allowing experienced, able, competent conveyancers to leave the profession without listening to their concerns and asking them to give something back, and a failure to train the inadequate administrators that now are the bane of our life with their tick box conveyancing, have now caught up with the profession. There are simply very few good conveyancers left out there, and too many incapable ones. I remember back to the early noughties when I was working flat out and we were far busier then than the market is today week in week out. It is simply a fact that conveyancers today have too much time to post on social media that they are busy rather than actually deal with files, and they lack the experience and proper training to be able to properly deal with larger volumes. For instance last month I saw someone congratulating themselves on getting through a busy month and completing thirty files. In our heyday thirty completions was one busy Friday then down the pub at lunchtime and start again the following Monday. It is not necessarily the fault of conveyancers they do not know any better. As someone who cares passionately about his clients and the wider reputation of the profession I can only apologise to clients out there who are suffering due to years of greed and lethargy. Some of us out there do care, unfortunately we are the ones never asked for an opinion when it comes to putting right this mess of a profession.

From: Alan Murray 20 October 2020 09:51 AM

Alan Murray
The process used for conveyancing is age old. That is not a criticism, it has always worked to varying degrees and though creaking now it is still fit for purpose. Unfortunately many of the Firms working within that system are not, and even reading some of the comments on this subject it is extraordinary how some see themselves when the reality of dealing with them is completely different. That is the problem, many think they are doing a good job when they are not, so no adequate training is given to staff and we just continue ad nauseum in the same old cycle. Throw in a lack of leadership in the profession, which is split into governing bodies anyway and seen by too many as an industry, and it is easy to see why we are shuddering. But the criticism is harsh. I would love to know the identity of the firms the two Agents as quoted are using for their recommendations? I agree as I said yesterday the majority of conveyancers these days are bad, to be polite. Every day I find myself apologizing to clients for the standards of conveyancing from the firms on the other side of their transactions. But Estate Agents should look at themselves and wonder why that is. If they did not take the cash from Introducers then the thirty or so bad Practitioners we can all name as problem firms would hopefully not be polluting the market with their inadequate attempts to progress files. Be careful what you wish for is something they should have considered when they started taking that money. You cannot have it both ways, if you take the money you create the very issues you are now complaining about? Good conveyancers do not cause delays, only bad ones.

From: Alan Murray 22 September 2020 10:20 AM

Alan Murray
I have been working in conveyancing for almost forty years. In that time the basic way the system works hasn't changed, so if it ain't broke why fix it? What people should be looking at instead is why the situation we presently have with huge delays in transactions proceeding, and poor advice being given to clients and standards being at an all time low. Estate Agents should be looking at themselves in this regard, it is after all they who chase the lucre by recommending the firms who are the problem. Those firms and their working practices never existed until a few years ago and Estate agents seemed to survive perfectly well then. So clearly banning fees paid for work would be an obvious first step to improve matters, with a hopeful knock on effect that these factory firms slowly disappear back to from where they came. That would make everybody's job easier and assist sellers and buyers. The legal qualification referred to by Tim Higham is a red herring. You can be academically brilliant but practically...useless so an exam is meaningless. What I am saying is you can gain the highest qualification you like but if you cannot put into practice then it's as much use as a chocolate fireguard... There are plenty of Solicitors out there who prove that and even more Licenced Conveyancers. There is a very long and complicated discussion to be had on how to put right the property market. Reservation Agreements are an irrelevance in my opinion only being proposed by people with a vested interest.

From: Alan Murray 27 October 2019 13:53 PM

Alan Murray

From: Alan Murray 17 May 2019 14:02 PM

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