Legal firms who specialise in offering a conveyancing service in Guildford, Surrey are beginning to struggle to make the profits they were once used to. The downturn in the housing market has meant there are far less buyers and therefore fewer houses are actually selling.
Lawyers used to the property boom years are now starting to find it hard to survive, and many have to make stuff cut backs in order to save money. In addition the job market for newly qualified solicitors who wish to go into conveyancing is practically non-existent in some parts of the country. What is making the situation worse is that conveyancing has always been a large part of the legal industry in the UK and therefore a lot of time and effort has been spent building up practices and legal firms to cater for this need. Within the last year this seems to have changed completely due the drastic down turn in the number of people actually buying and selling property.
But it is not just the legal firms that are struggling in today’s market. Recruitment firms specialising in legal markets have felt the knock on effects of less conveyancing work. One firm said that just last year half of the job vacancies that they were advertising were conveyancing related, now they say that that figure has dropped to zero. In addition there has been an increase in the number of the solicitors looking for work, especially those who are newly qualified. Legal firms just don’t seem to have the volume of work that they used and therefore are not taking on any new staff as well as reducing the number of existing ones. Legal firms across the whole of the property market are feeling the crunch with the property downturn now spreading into the commercial arena as well as the private sector. This will only mean harder times ahead if the market’s fortunes do not start improving soon.
However even if the property market did start to make a turn round soon, it is still unlikely that the legal firms will be able to make a speedy recovery. Surrey firms have also been hit by bad press due to a number of unscrupulous lawyers with very dubious legal practices. One such tale concerns a number of banks who lost millions of Euros, after two solicitors secured multiple mortgages on properties stating that they had registered the title deeds to act as security on the loans. By the time the banks found out they had been lied to, the situation was dire and they had lost their money. Since then some banks have shown nervousness in accepting assurances from solicitors and are insisting that title deeds are submitted. This had put an additional pressure on conveyancing surrey solicitors’ working in this field as well as increasing the amount of time need to complete the conveyancing process. The legal profession has been trying to work hard to limit the damage caused by these two solicitors and have been recommending that solicitors be barred from practicing if they fail to register title deeds. These are all steps in the right direction, but for the time being the situation is looking bleak for conveyancing guildford firms. However it is hoped that once the housing market starts to recover the legal profession will not be too far behind.