A number of industry experts gathered yesterday to discuss the future for conveyancing and the property transfer market.
The Westminster Policy Forum saw experts from across the sector discuss innovation, regulation and standards.
Former Law Society President Paul Marsh was first to speak and said that he did not feel “there would be any substantial change in the market in the coming year”.
Mr Marsh said: “The market is where it is. I think volumes will continue to stay the same.”
He added: “The market is brutally competitive and will continue to be so.”
Mr Marsh said that he did not believe separate representation would come about, saying that fundamentally joint representation works and was in the best interests of consumers.
He believes that CQS will continue to grow in significance and become the industry standard.
Richard Collins from the SRA and George Kidd from the CLC addressed regulation of the market going forward. Richard Collins said: “We would expect changes in the way we regulate in 2014.”
He said that whilst a lot of issues affected conveyancing the issue of holding client money was likely to be one that saw further discussion over the next year.
George Kidd was keen to point out the strength of systems of regulation already in place.
A panel discussed industry standards and market diversity with Jeff Bell of the Legal Services Consumer panel saying that there was always room for improvement with better understanding potentially bringing real benefit to consumers.
At many points the mood was upbeat with several delegates referring to a recent survey that showed 78.9% of consumers were happy with the service they had received from their conveyancer.
Lord Bach, who chaired the day, summed up saying that: “The next five years look like they will be very interesting indeed.”