Paul Lewis, presenter of Radio 4’s Moneybox, was host of the SLCs 3rd Annual Conference held at the Riverside Centre in Derby on 20th November with a record number of 170 delegates.
The first speaker was Ed Lester, CEO at the Land Registry who provided a clear view of the direction for the future ambitious digital agenda. He was questioned about a number of aspects including the centralisation of Local Land Charges.
Adam Sampson provided his usual entertaining but informative view of the world of the Legal Ombudsman and the reassuring message that conveyancers overall are doing a better job year on year.
Alex Roy, Head of Development and Research at the Legal Services Board suggested that legal regulation may move in a new direction, a view which was not entirely endorsed by Mark Stobbs, Director of Legal Policy at The Law Society who provided a robust view on a number of issues, in particular the payment of referral fees.
John Jones from the CLC gave a clear view on how the specialist conveyancing regulator has made significant steps forward since the SLC conference last year, and in particular is getting much closer to those which it regulates to better understand the issues and challenges that they face.
A panel session followed during which delegates were able to pose some interesting and challenging questions and it is apparent that there are some very contrasting views on the future direction of legal regulation and the provision of legal services.
Simon law, Chairman of the SLC said: “It was fascinating to hear different views on how our profession may develop in coming years.
“There are clearly tensions between ensuring a competitive marketplace for legal
"services whilst retaining the utmost professionalism in serving clients needs. What is clear is that this is a role to play for a professional body such as the Society in shaping the future.”
The afternoon kicked off with Paul Broadhead, Head of Mortgage Policy at BSA providing an upbeat view of the recovery in the housing market and the role that the lenders are playing in this.
Tracey Carr, Financial Crime Manager at Santander then gave an excellent account of the challenges that the lending community faces from sophisticated fraudsters and how conveyancers can play their part in combating this.
There then followed a topical issues spot by Stephen Desmond and a challenging presentation from Rhonda Hales of Legal Eye on compliance issues.
Robin Wells, Head of Sales, PSG, the Gold sponsor of the Conference said: “Yet again the SLC has brought together a top notch array of speakers who held the undivided attention of all the delegates and provided much food for thought.
“This conference is unique in bringing together licensed conveyancers, solicitors and legal executives as a single community and PSG is proud to be the lead sponsor for the event.”