New conveyancer profession ‘only viable’ alongside wider reforms

New conveyancer profession 'only viable' alongside wider reforms

The introduction of a new conveyancer profession “would only be viable as part of a wide range of other more significant and pressing reforms”, the Legal Services Regulatory Authority (LSRA) has concluded in a new report.

The watchdog was required to publish a report on the pros and cons of establishing the proposed new legal profession in Ireland under section 34 of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 (as amended).

Today’s 30-page report has been published alongside a 126-page independent expert research report by Indecon Research Economists, which includes a review of other jurisdictions as well as a survey of solicitors, and a national survey by Ipsos Ireland which found high levels of satisfaction with conveyancing services among consumers.

Based on the evidence gathered, the LSRA report concludes that the creation of a new profession of conveyancer would only be viable as part of a wide range of other more significant and pressing reforms, stating:

“The barriers, risks and regulatory costs associated with the establishment of a new profession of conveyancer in Ireland are too significant to justify its creation in the absence of these wider reforms. Priority should be given to the introduction of a range of significant reform measures to alleviate the barriers and risks identified in the Indecon report and to introduce more transparency and efficiencies into the conveyancing process for the benefit of consumers. The successful implementation of such alleviating measures could create conditions in which the creation of a new profession of conveyancer could be reconsidered for recommendation at an appropriate future date.”

In particular, the report calls for action to digitalise the conveyancing system and ensure greater use of technology; introduce enhanced transparency requirements for solicitors on the costs of conveyancing services; and increase awareness among consumers to enable them to make informed decisions when seeking conveyancing services from solicitors.

Dr Brian Doherty, chief executive of the LSRA, said: “The comprehensive evidence gathered by the LSRA clearly shows that conveyancing in Ireland is very much a paper based system in a digital age, and there is not enough transparency in the market to enable consumers to make informed decisions.

“Our recommended reforms are aimed at bringing about an easier, more efficient and more transparent conveyancing process, whilst also protecting and empowering consumers and promoting enhanced competition.”

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