Conveyancing is a specialist and technical legal practice which requires a great deal of reason, complex problem solving, data handling, drafting, and reporting as well as client management. As the practice of conveyancing has digitalized traditional methods have been gradually phased out with the introduction of practice management systems, virtual meetings, and software programs. The conveyancing world has unambiguously welcomed these introductions with open arms and embraced the efficiency of new practice methods.
However, as a trainee with a keen rural land and farming interest I began to question the need for, and importance of traditional conveyancing methods for certain land and property transactions. At Hedges we serve a diverse rural client base, given our proximity to West Oxfordshire countryside, and are often instructed to assist with complex land and property transactions.
Recently we were instructed by an individual to sell a residential property, additional development land, and an accessway as well as splitting titles to allow the vendor to retain a paddock for redevelopment. When our client contacted me, I immediately asked to visit the site to obtain a visual understanding and draw out some additional plans marking boundaries. Our client was overwhelmed and invited me to a meeting a few days later. Site visits are an integral part of our consulting work in the early stages and whilst it is clearly not always required with the intervention of agents and registered titles, I feel a duty and responsibility to those clients who are dealing with complicated transactions to take time out to visit the site and interpret their instructions clearly.
The practice of conveyancing will of course continue to develop and evolve; however as we continue to learn the new practices I feel cautious to continue to uphold the traditional methods of Land Law and client care – there is simply no replacement for face to face client interaction.