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Conveyancing Transactions: Doing More with the Same Resources

Promoted by LodgeX Legal

We have a solution for you to get more out of administrative and junior staff, to get the best out of your team.

user iconLodgeX Legal 31 May 2022 NewLaw
Conveyancing Transactions: Doing More with the Same Resources
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It seems like conveyancing is getting more and more complicated, with fewer professionals who are appropriately qualified and trained and capable of managing complex matters. With each new system, process or regulation that is introduced it feels that another professional leaves the industry. And with less courses available and a tight job market, replacing those members of your team can prove a real challenge. And it’s not just professionals leaving the industry all together that creates tension for businesses, sometimes it’s something as simple as staff looking to take leave, coming down with COVID or the flu, or undertaking care responsibilities, suddenly leaving your business with a temporary hole and few options to fill it. Take a deep breath, because there are options. We are going to break down the conveyancing process, and identify areas in which you can save time, money and sanity, enabling you to undertake more work using the same resources you already have available to you. 

Some of the biggest barriers to efficiency in conveyancing come from two areas: repetitive, administrative processes attached to a transaction, or, high-level authoritative tasks which require specialist staff by law for completion & compliance checking. These two areas require different levels of professional training, qualification and expertise, but what if you could minimise both of them with one solution? Let’s look at a case study, using solutions provided by LodgeX Lapp.

The current process to a conveyance goes something like this: 


Step 1 – Decision to Sell/Buy

This step is usually between the client and the agent – either preparing a property and listing or finding a property and purchasing. A solicitor or conveyancer may be involved in the purchase if there is opportunity either via private sale or prior to an auction for contract review, and whether or not the vendor is prepared to negotiate terms. Opportunities for such reviews are increasing, as sales move to private sales and providing another source of income for a busy conveyancing practice. This of course requires time to be able to conduct a proper review. What if we could simplify the review process by bringing in a pair of helping hands? 

Step 2 – Contract Creation/Formal Review. 

If you are engaged for a vendor client, this is when you prepare the contract. You or your administrative support then order searches in order to prepare the contract. You may use the standard template for the General Conditions and add any special conditions. Initial draft can be prepared by properly trained admin staff, but are always subject to review by lawyers/conveyancers.  If you are engaged by the Purchaser then you will review the contract and advise the client of its terms. Who do you turn to if your solicitors or conveyancers have their plates full? 

Step 3 – Preparing for Settlement – to Unconditional

This is the main period of client hand-holding and advising on anything that may come up regarding the settlement. Advice could encompass the mundane or technical depending on the issue – for example fixtures and chattels, works which may need completing, approval of finance etc. This is the time where you build your client relationships, and best time to ensure that the client will sing your praises to friends and family post settlement. It’s also the time where, if your file has been referred by an agent, you ensure the agent is kept up to date with any matters which might affect settlement. For Vendor clients you will contact the bank (if applicable) for discharge. For Purchaser clients will continue to make enquiries and advise client on mortgage/loan documents.

Step 4 – Unconditional to Settlement

Typically, this is the time where you move to populating the matter into the ELNO. Due to the requirements of the Electronic Conveyancing National Law, this largely administrative task requires key elements to be completed/signed off by a solicitor or licensed conveyancer. Those elements are:

  • Signing off on documents
  • Signing off on financials 
  • Authorised partner only to sign off on trust account
The requirements are in place to ensure protection for transacting parties. As the transacting party authorises the legal practice or conveyancing firm to sign, submit or authorise any documents required and to authorise any financial settlement on its behalf, the legal firm/conveyancing practice assumes the responsibility for the documents and financial items. This responsibility is linked to the practising certificates/conveyancing licence and therefore the sign off cannot be delegated to administrative staff. Effectively this means that a senior staff member is required to review, verify, approve and sign all parts of the transaction. Rolling settlement times impact the time availability of these staff, who need to be present to ensure completion. Where any part of the process – document change or financial line-item change, this then impacts the senior staff who are required to again review, verify, approve and sign off.

These steps all take up valuable time for a net-zero income result to the firm. The costs of complying with the regulatory requirements in the workspace must be incorporated into the overall-fees for the conveyance. In other words, these costs are absorbed as part of the work necessarily completed in the matter. This work is not advisory, it gives no added tangible benefit to the client, and is effectively an operational cost to your business. How do you reduce these operational costs while still delivering the best service to your client? 

Step 5 – Settlement to registration

This is the process via an ELNO which you would be familiar with. But what if the majority of this process can be managed through a mostly-automated process? 

This is where LodgeX steps in. 

By operating as an extra arm to your team, these questions can be answered through the process we developed through our platform, Lapp. Check out this case study of time you could be saving by running your transactions through Lapp with our team working alongside yours. 

LodgeX Lapp is our solution to saving your firm time and money, and maximising the efficiency of your staff by unlocking greater potential in your administrative or junior staff. As LodgeX completes the work in the workspace, there is no requirement that the instructions are inputted into Lapp by a solicitor or licensed conveyancer. A well-trained junior or admin support staff member can easily input the data required to generate a Lapp file. This enables the practice to better utilise its support staff and also empowers staff to learn, providing a valuable training ground for those junior staff wanting to learn more about conveyancing. There is no requirement for a partner, lawyer or conveyancer to review, verify, approve and sign off on documents, financial items, as this is all done by LodgeX in Lapp with full visibility so you have up to date real time updates on the progress of your matter. You have more opportunity to employ junior staff and provide those with aptitude and keenness to learn conveyancing with exposure without needing to first ensure they have a full licence to undertake any part of the process. On top of all that, LodgeX Lapp fees are fully recoverable as a disbursement so a net zero cost for your practice.

Want to see how you can unlock greater potential from your firm and resources? Sign up now to complete your first transaction with LodgeX Lapp, and experience a new way to do conveyancing for your firm.