You are here:
  1. Home
  2. News
  3. Blog
  4. Conveyancing - is the reward worth the risk?

Conveyancing - is the reward worth the risk?

21 August 2015

Mark Carver outlines shifts in conveyancing fees and associated risk from a PII perspective, based on a new report.


The recent study by the Post Office Money and the Centre for Economics and Business Research provided interesting statistics regarding moving costs:

Centre for Economics and Business Research moving costs statistics

Cost of conveyancing

In real terms, solicitors are earning less now than they did 10 years ago from conveyancing, with average fees increasing by 36.5 per cent – significantly less than standard inflation for the same period (40.63 per cent). This is in stark contrast to estate agents, who have clearly benefited from the increase in property prices as their earnings are linked to the sale price, and to a lesser extent, surveyors, whose fees have increased above the level of inflation.

Risk and reward

Not only are solicitors getting paid less for conveyancing than in 2004, but the potential risk is significantly higher, driven primarily by an increase in property prices:

Office for National Statistics House Price Index

While there are regional property value differences, it is apparent that conveyancing fees have not kept in line with the potential exposure of a negligent transaction. In other words, solicitors who undertake conveyancing are taking on more risk, which is not reflected in the fee generated. This is in comparison to estate agents who appear to enjoy low risk and high rewards.

Conveyancing claims

Market claims statistics gathered by Chancery Pii (reflecting 14.81 per cent of the profession from 2004-2011) show that 43 per cent of claims notifications and 70 per cent of financial claims payments, at an average incurred cost of £41,000, are generated from conveyancing.

Even firms fortunate enough not to experience a conveyancing claim should be aware that approximately £100 of an average conveyancing fee will contribute towards professional indemnity insurance premium for the transaction.

What options do conveyancing firms with few partners have?

Conveyancing firms are advised to seek out A+ rated cover from a specialist, particularly small firms, who will inevitably be more heavily reliant on their policy to respond to incidents in a timely fashion, should they arise.

In our experience, mortgage lender panels also have a preference for firms to be backed by rated cover. There have been calls for this to be compulsory in the past.

Further information

This blog was originally published on the Small Firms Division's website.

Find out more about the Small Firms Division

Read our updated practice note on professional indemnity insurance

Tags: conveyancing | Pii | risk

About the author

Mark Carver is professional indemnity specialist at Chancery Pii, which is endorsed by the Law Society to provide 'A+' rated professional indemnity insurance for 1-4 partner solicitor firms.
Find out more about Chancery Pii

  • Share this page:
Authors

Adam Johnson | Adele Edwin-Lamerton | Ahmed Aydeed | Alex Barr | Alex Heshmaty | Alexa Lemzy | Alexandra Cardenas | Amanda Adeola | Amanda Carpenter | Amanda Jardine Viner | Amy Bell | Amy Heading | an anonymous sole practitioner | Andrew Kidd | Andy Harris | Anna Drozd | Annaliese Fiehn | Anne Morris | Anne Waldron | anonymous female solicitor | Asif Afridi and Roseanne Russell | Bansi Desai | Barbara Whitehorne | Barry Wilkinson | Becky Baker | Ben Hollom | Bhavisha Mistry | Bob Nightingale | Bridget Garrood | Caroline Marlow | Caroline Roddis | Caroline Sorbier | Carolyn Pepper | Catherine Dixon | Chris Claxton-Shirley | Christina Blacklaws | Ciaran Fenton | CV Library | Daniel Matchett | Daphne Perry | David Gilroy | David Yeoward | Douglas McPherson | Duncan Wood | Elijah Granet | Emily Miller | Emily Powell | Emma Maule | Floyd Porter | Gary Richards | Gary Rycroft | Graham Murphy | Gustavo Bussmann | Hayley Stewart | Hilda-Georgina Kwafo-Akoto | Ignasi Guardans | James Castro Edwards | Jane Cassell | Jayne Willetts | Jeremy Miles | Jerry Garvey | Jessie Barwick | Joe Egan | Jonathan Andrews | Jonathan Fisher | Jonathan Smithers | Jonathon Bray | Julian Hall | Julie Ashdown | Julie Nicholds | Justin Rourke | Karen Jackson | Kate Adam | Katherine Cousins | Kaweh Beheshtizadeh | Kayleigh Leonie | Keiley Ann Broadhead | Kerrie Fuller | Kevin Hood | Kevin Poulter | Larry Cattle | Laura Bee | Laura Devine | Laura Uberoi | Leah Glover and Julie Ashdown | Leanne Yendell | LHS Solicitors | Lucy Parker | Maria Shahid | Marjorie Creek | Mark Carver | Mark Leiser | Markus Coleman | Martin Barnes | Matt Oliver | Matthew Still | Max Rossiter | Melissa Hardee | Neil Ford | Nick Denys | Nick O'Neill | Nick Podd | Nikki Alderson | Oz Alashe | Patrick Wolfe | Paul Rogerson | Pearl Moses | Penny Owston | Peter Wright | Philippa Southwell | Preetha Gopalan | Prof Sylvie Delacroix | Rachel Brushfield | Rafie Faruq | Ranjit Uppal | Ravi Naik | Remy Mohamed | Richard Collier | Richard Coulthard | Richard Heinrich | Richard Messingham | Richard Miller | Richard Roberts | Rob Cope | Robert Bourns | Robin Charrot | Rosa Coleman | Rosy Rourke | Saida Bello | Sally Azarmi | Sally Woolston | Sam De Silva | Sara Chandler | Sarah Austin | Sarah Crowe | Sarah Henchoz | Sarah Smith | Shereen Semnani | Shirin Marker | Sofia Olhede | Sonia Aman | Sophia Adams Bhatti | Sophie O'Neill-Hanson | Steve Deutsch | Steve Thompson | Stuart Poole-Robb | Susan Kench | Suzanne Gallagher | The Law Society Digital and Brand team | Tom Ellen | Tony Roe Solicitors | Tracey Calvert | Umar Kankiya | Vanessa Friend | Vicki Butler | Vidisha Joshi | William Li | William McSweeney