Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Lexsure Launches Webinar Series on Reports on Title

Legal software house Lexsure has announced that it will host a three-part webinar series for property lawyers, focusing on Reports on Title. The series will run from July 2nd through July 8th, and is intended to provide valuable lessons on different aspects of the reporting process.

The first webinar ‘Reports on Title: There Must be A Better Way!’ takes place on the 2nd July. This particular webinar was prompted by firms informing Lexsure that, notwithstanding case management systems, the Report on Title is the most frustrating and time-consuming document to produce in the conveyancing process. Of course, it is one of the most crucial documents. This webinar will explore new technologies available to speed up the generation of a ROT whilst simultaneously creating a more comprehensive and better risk managed document.

A second webinar, on the 3rd July, covers the topical question of what essential issues should be included in a firm’s Report on Lease.

The final webinar in the series, on 8th July 2019, will address the most frequent misconceptions that result in firms failing to improve their method of reporting, often resulting in increased exposure to claims.

Participation in the webinars is free of charge for those with an access code from their search provider. Each webinar will feature one of Lexsure’s expert speakers.

To book a slot at the webinars click here.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

SRA Shine a Light on Inadequate Leasehold Reports on Title

The recent review of the conveyancing sector by the Solicitors Regulation Authority found that 23 percent of conveyancing firms are inadequately advising leasehold homebuyers.

In what the SRA describes as a 'dangerous assumption', several firms said that they saw no reason to explain the difference between freehold and leasehold, assuming the client would already know or the estate agent would have already explained it. Ultimately this leads to the question as to whether the solicitors have breached their duty of care.

As a result of the SRA's review, six law firms have been referred to the regulator's internal disciplinary processes. No doubt these firms will have their Reports on Title scrutinised.

Regarding leasehold advice, the SRA report found:


  • Nearly a quarter of firms did not explain the difference between freehold and leasehold properties, with some relying on the client’s knowledge or information provided by an estate agent.
  • One out of five people who had purchased a leasehold property did not remember being provided with any information on the length of the lease, service charges and other payments such as ground rent.
  • 26% of clients did not recall being given a draft copy of the lease to review prior to signing it.
  • 17% did not think that their solicitor had clearly explained the features of their lease – rising to one in three among first-time buyers.

Leasehold reform campaigner Louie Burns of The Leasehold Group of Companies, said: “Conveyancing solicitors who are found to have given inadequate or misleading advice should be held accountable and leaseholders must be given adequate compensation.”

Lexsure are running a series of free webinars next month focussing on the leasehold section of their Report on Title technology (known as e-ROT).

This "Mini" Report accommodates the trend of law firms increasingly reporting on individual sections of the conveyancing documents. This also addresses recent identified failures by firms to report adequately on leasehold as a tenure.

Webinars can be booked here.


Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Is Your Firm Ready for a SRA AML Audit?

The SRA have recently warned that it will be writing to a “large number” (400) of firms in the coming weeks requiring evidence of compliance with the 2017 Money Laundering Regulations. The likelihood is that firms with a focus on conveyancing will be targeted.

The regulator confirmed that in the last five years, sixty cases linked to potential improper money movements have been referred to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. The stark warning is “Those who do not treat the Regulations seriously should expect similar treatment.”

Law firms making proper and full use of COMPLETIONmonitor’s AML Search and associated bespoke risk alerts have little to fear from an audit.

Delivering comprehensive reporting and dashboard functionality, COMPLETIONmonitor enables MLROs and authorised officers to quickly assess the overall effectiveness of the AML policies. The filtering functionality provides a firm with tools to identify, red-flag or block suspicious fraudulent and money laundering activity. Firms can configure and selectively apply scenarios to different client categories. The technology enables the firm to filter alerts based on various parameters, view certain background information on each client, delegate analysis and supervise alert resolution. Alerts can be configured on the basis of clients, counter-parties, regions, employees and departments.

For law firms with more than two or three staff and more than a handful of clients, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to satisfy the 2017 regulations and monitor compliance solely using paper-based records.

Lawyers can certainly not afford to be complacent – the conveyancing industry is a primary target and firms must be vigilant and prepared to demonstrate compliance or face serious consequences.

Property law solicitors who have not yet done so need to get their houses in order as soon as possible.

Lexsure offer COMPLETIONmonitor firms a free consultation twice a year on the various optional facilities within the software to assist in combating fraud and money laundering.

COMPLETIONmonitor firms can book a free online demonstration or training on the AML features here

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Reports on Title - How Much Time Could You be Saving?

Do you shut yourself off in a quiet room at the office for hours a week or come into work early to work on this critical and time consuming document?


Is it possible that you are wasting valuable time?  What a sad depressing thought. Surely there has to be a better way to generate a Report on Title.

Lexsure have created a calculator to help you add up all the hours and assess how much time the e-ROT might be able to save you.The table below shows how much time firms are spending based on feedback to date:




Use the calculator to get an approximation of time that you may be able to save,


Lexsure’s e-ROT Brings increased protection, consistency and efficiency to building the most important  - yet tedious and time-consuming - document in a purchase transaction.


The e-ROT webinars are taking place later this month and in March. You can book here.

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Conveyancers Up Their Game to Cope with Market Slowdown


Conveyancers have experienced their first significant dip in workload for a decade, providing further evidence of a marked slowdown in the housing market.

Firms are now having to shift gears.

For the last few years the primary concern of conveyancing practices was how to cope with the volume of instructions. Particular attention was given to improve efficiencies. 

Focus is now shifting towards how to create, win and convert more leads and enquiries. 

The two obvious places to look when it comes to increasing leads is  Google via ‘pay per click’ or paying estate agents/brokers for leads. Both options are extremely expensive. Firms will often expend lots of time and money before eventually realising that experimenting in these two areas yields inadequate return on investment. 

Ideally, word-of-mouth recommendations and repeat clients would support firms through lean periods. Yet for many, when the market takes a turn for the worst, repeat clients are rarely enough to sustain the firm without making redundancies. 

Progressive firms, mostly with Business Development Managers, take the time to scour the market and discover cost-effective ways to find new leads and instructions. 

These managers have been flocking towards LenderPanel.com who have witnessed a 400% increase in the last two months. 

LenderPanel.com is an online tool enabling borrowers and estate agents to know which firms have been approved by the lender to act. Approximately 80,000 searches were conducted last year by visitors looking to find and appoint a lawyer. Listings are displayed by location to those firms nearest to the borrower. 

The rapid growth in law firms listing themselves on the directory service is driven by firms wishing to reach borrowers at a key decision point in the conveyancing process. 

Most firms have spent significant time and energy to join a lender’s panel or retain their status. It is essential, especially in tougher times, to capitalise on your panel membership. 

For as little as £10 a month you can gain a significant competitive advantage !

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Does Brexit Spell the Exit for Firms on Lender Panels?



The Bank of England's governor has recently warned the cabinet that a chaotic no-deal Brexit could crash house prices.

His worst-case scenario was that house prices could fall as much as 35% over three years.

If such a prediction comes to pass it will be destructive for conveyancing firms.

Lenders will not swallow their losses happily. For conveyancers, that means a tsunami of file reviews because lawyers are an easy target for a lender looking to offset a loss – or pass it on altogether. Any failure by the lawyer to comply with the letter of their mortgage instructions – typically based on the lenders’ handbook – will be pounced upon.

Many firms will be removed from lender panels or fail to find a PI insurer, which amounts to the same thing. There will be fewer conveyancing law firms. Strong risk assurance embedded in your firm’s everyday practice can put those worries to rest.

Ask yourself whether you have ever considered a pre-lender compliance audit. Many firms make enormous efforts to ensure their client Ts and Cs and website copy are compliant, but don’t take the trouble to check on lender compliance. Yet the consequences for a firm tripping up on lender Handbook requirements can be fatal to a law firm.

It’s not just about peace of mind. A lender compliance audit can bring real value to your firm. A third-party firm acting in the same way a lender would can uncover issues and knowledge gaps that you can address to make your conveyancing processes more rigorous.

In this day and age of increased accountability and regulatory requirements, audits should be welcomed, not feared. If you’d like to find out more about how Lexsure’s lender compliance audit can assist your firm please contact support@lexure.com

Monday, 17 September 2018

Proving Conveyancing Quality to PI Insurers

In the lead-up to PI insurance renewals, Lexsure are offering firms the ability to commission a lender compliance audit which can be used to evidence to professional indemnity insurers the quality of their conveyancing. The independent assessment reviews files based on the UKF Handbook Requirements as of the date of the mortgage offer on file.

Until now, Lexsure restricted the availability of their audit facility to lenders and insurers but are now making the facility available directly to firms.

Everyone knows that conveyancing is the highest-risk area of legal practice with lenders dominating the instigation of claims. Firms that are confident of their quality and compliance with lender requirements should be able to evidence to their PI insurers that they are managing risk properly.

In carrying out an audit, the assessor (non-practicing solicitors with over 20 years conveyancing experience) utilise Lexsure’s proprietary technologies which incorporate the relevant UKF Part 2 requirements based on the date of the COT.  

With PII renewal season in full swing SRO’s, COLPs and Heads of Department would be well advised to take advantage of an external audit so that they can prove the quality of their lender compliance to assist in obtaining insurance. Firms should not shy away from ‘lifting up the carpet’. If there are areas for improvement then it is well worth finding out and dealing with it sooner rather than later.