I note from my recent reading that firms dealing with domestic conveyancing in any quantity have had their professional indemnity insurance premiums loaded because of the amount of property work they are doing. This is perceived by the insurers (quite correctly) as being productive of a large number of claims and hence high risk. Is it not ironic that the most risky area of legal practice in Scotland is not dealing with international litigation or corporate deals or intellectual property problems, but buying and selling “wee hooses”?
I also notice that recent correspondence from the SLCC indicates that a large percentage of complaints received relate to domestic conveyancing.
Should all of this not teach the profession a lesson? Domestic conveyancing has become the “dog” of bucket shop work. It is high pressure, involving a lot of work, is poorly remunerated and above all risky.
Is it not time for the profession to stand back and for each of us to do fewer transactions in a less frenetic fashion, charge more for the service and take greater care?
Is this rise in claims and complaints not related in part to the pressure of work and in part to the obsession of some firms in delegating this type of work down to the very lowest (and cheapest) common denominator?
We seem to have ended up in the worst of all worlds here. I would urge people to rethink.
Our own policy, which I suggest other firms should adopt, is to provide a personal one-to-one service from a solicitor for a reasonable fee, which is neither a bucket shop fee nor an exorbitant fee but provides good value for money. There is a market for that, as the public increasingly appreciates.David R Adie, Adie Hunter, Glasgow