There is now a solution for smaller and medium sized high street firms looking to improve their profit margins and provide their clients with a streamlined residential conveyancing service.
Outsourcing various aspects of your work can mean considerable cost savings, and it’s probably going to be one of the future methods for ensuring the survival of some of the smaller high street practices. It is also a good way of establishing a new conveyancing business without incurring substantial staff overheads.
375 Locum Conveyancers Available
This is how it works: the Interim Lawyers platform (www.interimlawyers.co.uk) has over 375 conveyancers available for work on an ad hoc basis or short term cover. A good number of the locum conveyancers who are registered with us are particularly keen on providing ad hoc assistance to law firms, working as and when required. Title check work is particularly straightforward for them to do as and when you need it doing.
Traditionally in a good number of law firms the title check work is undertaken by a fairly junior fee earner or experienced secretary obtaining the various documents and getting them ready for a review by the fee earner working on the file. The fee earner then works their way through them, checking everything is there and raising the appropriate queries as they see fit.
Free Up Fee Earner Time
For a fee earner to do this they have to be able to dedicate the time in the week to sit down and go through the title carefully, and this can impact on their other work, dealing with clients, generating new business, overseeing exchanges and completion and communicating with the various parties in each conveyancing transaction.
It is now possible to outsource the whole title check to a locum freelance solicitor working remotely who will go through the process, prepare the relevant documents and forward them across to your fee earner ready for the next stage. There are other options involved in this – some firms have even experimented with outsourcing the whole conveyancing transaction, although this does start to eat into profits.
Price Estimate £30-£55 per Title Check
Outsourcing the title check will cost your business around £30 to £55 per title check on average, with different prices for new builds, right to buy, leasehold and freehold. Some locums do actually provide a flat rate which can be anything from £200 to £300 per title check, but most of the time we see prices within the range given above.
1-2 Hours Work
Most solicitors undertaking this service on an outsourced basis estimate that each title check will take them between 1 and 2 hours to do, and the return times are usually 3 to 4 days, although a 24 hour service is often available.
If you compare this with the cost of keeping a member of staff in your office to work on these, then you do have to factor in the time that member of staff is not actually working and how much time they actually are spending undertaking title checks for you, and what other work they are doing as well.
New Firm – Money Saving Option
If you are a new firm starting up a conveyancing department and looking to save costs then it may be that outsourcing different parts of the process will be an option for you so that you can offer the service to your clients at a very early stage, and ensure that it is cost effective and not needing you to recruit staff to undertake the work.