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The property boom has increased the workload of solicitors and the expectations of their clients. Bronwyn Townsend considers three key technology solutions law firms have turned to, and why they will become part of the conveyancing process for good.
There is no doubt that how we interact, communicate, and operate have all changed since early 2020.
In conveyancing, there have been record-level property sales. Additionally, changes that started as adjustments to work around the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic are now systems, processes and technologies that are here to stay.
As law firms navigate the property boom brought about by the stamp duty land tax (SDLT) holiday, they have increasingly turned to technology to improve the homebuying process; conveyancing continues to evolve digitally.
We cannot ignore the impact the pandemic has had on both consumer and work behaviour.
Digitalisation continues to expand across the legal sector, keeping businesses moving and people connected.
So, which technology solutions are firms eyeing to support them now and beyond?
Law firms have been rapidly adopting new technologies that offer greater streamlining potential. With process and workflow solutions at its core, automation is increasingly on the radar of law firms.
The legal sector’s mindset on automation has changed so much that automation was beaten to the top spot in this year’s Legal IT Landscapes 2021 report by hot efficiency technology.
The benefits of automation are gaining recognition.
Here are a few reasons why your firm should consider employing it within your digital line-up.
Automation enables technology to relieve the burden of arduous administrative tasks that are time consuming and a drain on productivity.
Automation ultimately gives back time to conveyancing departments to focus on:
Automation benefits firms by reducing the risk of re-keying errors, as content can be pre-populated, informed by data within the matter.
Every time someone has to retype information, there’s a risk that information could be submitted incorrectly. Centralising information through automation can minimise this risk.
Automation is enabling firms to do more with the same amount of time.
Tasks that previously took hours can be streamlined by letting technology do those laborious tasks, increasing efficiency and allowing solicitors to get on with the work.
The results are greater opportunities for scalability within a firm.
We now live in a digital world.
Consumers can manage everything from banking to booking restaurants via apps and devices. As such, the expectation for this technology to be embedded in the homebuying process has now reached a critical point.
The pandemic has forced firms to find alternative ways to communicate with their clients.
We’ve seen a shift in the uptake of client-facing technology, including portals, which ranked first among the strategic priorities for firms according to the Legal IT Landscapes report.
Clients want to be informed and have access to complete documentation in a way that suits their lifestyles.
Client-facing portals that provide key updates, access to electronic forms and digital signatures can deliver this.
Portals have also been shown to dramatically reduce timelines, with more than 65% of e-signature documents returned in under 12 hours through InfoTrack.
It’s results like these that are leading to client satisfaction in an increasingly digitalised world.
With the announcement of HM Land Registry’s digital identity standard earlier this year, there’s a growing interest in digitally verifying clients’ identities.
A process that once involved face-to-face meetings, scanning passports or posting proof of identity, is now being radically modernised through digital ID verification.
COVID-19 forced law firms to find alternative methods of verification, many of which have been adopted by the banking and other sectors for years.
Not only limited to identity, similar technology is also being used to electronically verify source of funds with ease. With flexible lifestyles increasing in popularity, this will undoubtedly become a common addition to a law firm’s toolkit.
InfoTrack is a partner of the Law Society.
Views expressed in our blogs are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Law Society.