BCL Legal speak to Professional Services Director at Countrywide Property Lawyers

BCL Legal speak to Professional Services Director at Countrywide Property Lawyers

Alison Roberts, Professional Services Director (Conveyancing Services) at Countrywide Property Lawyers: Conveyancing — a view from volume business
What qualities do you look for in a Conveyancer?
The obvious ones; commitment professionalism and great communication but also creativity resourcefulness and the ability to solve problems. We don’t want our lawyers needlessly debating legal points whilst our clients are waiting to move in!

In your experience what do clients want most from a conveyancer?

We ask our clients this and it is overwhelmingly clear that they value effective and frequent communication by whatever means they choose — post, email or text. Lawyers forget that although they are working hard in the background, much of what they do isn’t visible and one of the things we have learnt is simply to keep in closer touch and to give peace of mind.
Traditional firms say that you need local knowledge and that volume based national operations like yours can’t provide this — do you agree?
Some areas have particular challenges that demand specialist knowledge but you don’t have to be local to provide that. Our conveyancers have a breath of experience simply from carrying out high volumes of cases all over England and Wales. Some local lawyers stress this point but are happy to act for their own clients when they move away from the area — the irony isn’t lost on us!
Do you a have to be legally qualified to be a Conveyancer?
No. Many of our lawyers are qualified but we also have a lot of conveyancers who are qualified by experience. We also run training programmes that give opportunities to support staff who want to become case handlers. It takes up to two years intensive training but we are lucky enough to have a dedicated training resource which is CPD accredited.
If clients could change one thing about the conveyancing process what would it be?
Probably to shorten the time it takes. There are many different parts of the process — and we don’t have direct control over all of them. However, we are constantly looking for ways to shorten this time and to increase efficiencies without compromising on quality and service.
Volume conveyancers do come in for some criticism — why is that?
Probably because we are successful at what we do. There is a perception that large operations are impersonal and fail to put the client first but nothing could be further from the truth. Organisations like ours have made seven day a week opening, extended hours, web and text updates and transparent service level agreements the norm and clients have benefitted from that. Our business model has allowed us to grow and recruit during this six year property recession and it gives us the flexibility to offer our conveyancers extra support when they need it most. For example, we employ lawyers with no case loads to help through holiday periods and to provide compliance and training support.
Does this environment suit all lawyers?
Conveyancing is the same whether you are in a large or small practice but if you like to work in a closed office dictating to a secretary and are not keen on speaking to clients or introducers then you probably won’t fit in. However, if you like team work, are professional, value those who introduce work to you and think customer service is as important as we do then we’d like to hear from you!
About Alison: Alison is the professional services director at CCS. She is responsible for risk and compliance and contributes to the company goals of driving down transactions times, improving customer service and maintaining quality standards.

BCL Legal

http://www.bcllegal.com/

BCL Legal is a leading legal recruitment consultancy with offices in Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Reading.

With almost ten years' experience recruiting within conveyancing departments of legal businesses; our dedicated residential property team is able to service a broad range of providers of legal services relating to conveyancing.  We have unrivalled market knowledge and relationships with leading specialist residential property firms as well as smaller high street practices. We assist candidates in their job search across all levels from assistant to partner level appointments.

Our conveyancing Linked In group is a forum for residential property professionals to discuss trends in the market and current affairs that are affecting the property market.

We have recently launched BCL Graduates which is a free graduate recruitment service. Our clients can search our database of legal graduates and contact them directly to arrange an interview.  BCL Graduates offers firms a cost effective way of hiring graduates who they can invest in, through training and development and will ultimately fill the skill gaps that the recession created.

We also create a monthly e-zine called The Brief which is read by over 40,000 legal professionals and it includes interviews from high profile legal professionals and all the latest legal jobs.

If you would like to find out more about opportunities in conveyancing or are looking to recruit please call Azara Roger on 0845 241 0933.


Contact: Azara Roger

Tel: 0845 241 0933

Email: [email protected]

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