Sunday 21 March 2010

Is it time for the conveyancing industry to be unionised ?

How much longer can conveyancing solicitors accept being at the bottom of the legal food chain, with all the responsibility and risk involved.

Conveyancers would be forgiven for having a persecution complex having recently come under attack from insurers and lenders. Add to the mix the threat of “ “Tesco Law”. Whilst there has not been any serious suggestion that Tesco will consider launching conveyancing in the near future, it is the supermarket giant’s brand which has become the unofficial moniker for the Legal Services Act .

Most conveyancers believe that Tesco conducting conveyancing is a bad thing. Such an opinion is fine if conveyancers have market power, but they don't. The Beatles were not able to stop iTunes from changing the record business by abstaining from the platform, and there's no book publisher who can stop Amazon’s Kindle. The market waits for no one.

The alternative to embracing the changes that the Legal Services Act will bring is to sit out the game loudly. Don't just hold back your support, organize your peers or unionise conveyancing. Create a coordinated effort to stop innovation. I for one would not bet my house on your efforts, but it will certainly outperform a solo effort.

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