Stewart Brymer gave a talk today at the LawWare/Cloud Annual Conference on what may lie ahead in 2014 for residential property lawyers. His message was that there should be opportunities for forward-thinking firms, no matter their size. Delegates were recommended to look at their businesses and think about how they might best use technology to their advantage. The core message was to focus on their clients and the service they give. Only by doing this will they be able to withstand some of the commercial pressures that are building.
During the presentation reference was made to the Law Society's review of the residential property process and matters such as a National Missive; a virtual deal room or platform on which transactions would be facilitated were discussed. Mention was also made of the proposed electronic practising certificate which will include a suitably robust digital signature to exacting EU standards. This will fit with the coming into force of Part 10 of The Land Registration Etc. (Scotland) Act 2012 which will amend the Requirements of Writing legislation to permit the use of digital signatures as equivalent to a traditional "wet" signature.
These and other changes were seen as positive developments which require to be embraced - if only to decide that the changes are not for your firm. The Law Society is looking to inform the profession and that process is under way. In the end of the day, it is for each individual solicitor or firm to decide what is best for them.