Watching the amazing sports events at the Commonwealth Games, I thought about how long these athletes train for and their dedication to their chosen sport.
I then thought about conveyancing, and I know that there are no Olympics for conveyancing, but I do believe that to become a good conveyancer you need to learn about the subject area. More importantly, you need to practise it on a daily basis.
When I first started as an articled clerk, conveyancing was seen as something that was “dabbled in”. It was rare to find a solicitor who only did conveyancing (although please correct me if my recollection of practice 35 years ago is starting to fade!). It was common for conveyancing to be done alongside other areas of law, perhaps family law.
Over the years, and with the increase in regulation and rules, it has become a far more specialised area. I do not believe that it is an area in which you can just dabble – in fact, I would go so far as to say that would be dangerous. Furthermore, as some lenders insist on a certain number of transactions a year, I do not think it would be possible.
What’s more, all of my peers – those solicitors who trained over 35 ago – have seen how hard the job has become for all manner of reasons. Very experienced conveyancing solicitors are leaving the profession due in part to the volume of the SDLT holiday, but also due to the way in which we are treated. There was a post on LinkedIn in the last few days about the difference between the charges made by an agent and those made by a solicitor with a comment suggesting that an estate agent should spend a week in a solicitor’s office to see the amount of regulation with which we must comply – not sure how that would go!
Those conveyancing solicitors with many years of experience and practice have trained and dedicated their lives to conveyancing. When the regulations change (as they so often do), we adapt and incorporate those changes into our working lives. When the area in which we practise has curveballs such as the pandemic and SDLT holiday thrown at us, we catch them and adapt our working lives to be able to continue to do the best for our clients.
We are the medal winners and should be respected as such. No one would hurl abuse or make demands on a Commonwealth Games athlete or gymnast that left them feeling worn out and worthless – we deserve to be treated with respect – not only for the role we do, but also for the many years of training and dedication we have put into becoming good at what we do.
This is written by a real high street conveyancer who wishes to remain anonymous. Read more in Today’s Conveyancer every week.
Subscribe to the Today’s Conveyancer newsletter to receive industry updates, news and analysis