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DAVID JABBARI, CEO, MUVE It is hard to fault the sentiment behind this initiative. It is often felt that there was a 'golden age' of High Street conveyancing, when customers walked in to their local solicitor and chatted with their lawyer, and the lawyers spent time on the golf courses with their local estate agents. I am afraid that those days have well and truly gone however, and not just because golf is a lot less popular! For one thing, the kind of model being discussed here can only work economically at fee rates that many customers will no longer pay, given the intense competion over price. Customers today see conveyancing as an 'unbundled' product that they can buy as a commodity on the basis of price, not something that has to be suplied as part of traditional law firm delivery. I pass no comment on whether that is right or wrong, simply that this is how customers view it. Also, today's customer is much happier interacting through digital portals and the like: they do not want, nor need, to give up hours of their day to go in to a solicitor's office and wait to be seen. Lastly, and this is the killer, while the first wave of volume conveyancing delivered an inferior product to High Street delivery, that is no longer the case. The amount of investment and resource that a large, well capitalised, firm can bring to the improvement of every aspect of the process is far greater than a traditionally run law firm. It is a bit like comparing Amazon with one of those old catalogue showrooms on the High Street: no one today would seriously think that Amazon, for all its volume, scale and absence of local presence, was an inferior product.

From: DAVID JABBARI - CEO OF MUVE 12 June 2021 13:37 PM

From David Jabbari, Solicitor, CEO of Muve There is always a tendency in conveyancing firms to get very defensive when this subject is broached, and blame everything but the legal process. This issue has been coming up across the property press recently and I think it is a great opportunity for the law firms to put their hands up and admit they could be doing a lot better. One report was suggesting that sellers who do not list this month are likely to miss the SDLT holiday period. It is truly shocking, and frankly unbelievable, that sellers would need to list this month to get in within the SDLT holiday deadline due to the conveyancing process. The issue is that conveyancers fail to re-examine their processes: they simply say I am working flat out but never stop to ask whether they are working efficiently, whether they are making mountains out of molehills throughout the process. I had a solicitor on the other side the other day who would not accept a completion payment by the Faster Payment method without an undertaking that we would not recall the money (and this was while the csutomers were in a van waiting for the keys!). We did a major review of our processes and created a MuveFast service targeting 28 day exchanges, and we are successful in this in over 90% of cases. The big issue I am seeing is mortgage approvals but this is definitely improving. There is no doubt that lots of law firms were too slow to unfurlough and have not invested in new capacity to keep up with demand. We were fortunate that we raised over £1m new investment during Covid and have ploughed this immediately into new capacity and a new estate agency account management team. Never was there a more important time to ensure that instructed lawyers are committed to faster transaction times and have the resources to deliver this. (david.jabbari@muve.me.uk).

From: DAVID JABBARI - CEO OF MUVE 22 September 2020 10:06 AM

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