The broker fed up with conveyancing setting up his own legal panel
Frustration over delays in the conveyancing process has spurred a broker to set up his own legal panel – and he is asking peers to help fund the new venture.
Buyers currently face a “complete lottery” over which solicitor they use to buy a home, according to Rhys Schofield, managing director of Peak Mortgages and Protection.
He said: “Covid has been an excuse for bad service and cutting corners. A lot of solicitors don’t move cases forward at all.”
Schofield is partnering with industry experts to create a service ‘by brokers for brokers’ which will allow advisers to make referrals.
The heart of the business is to cut out the firms that aren’t proactive so that cases can go through faster with conveyancers who provide good service.
Rhys said existing panel mangers “don’t want to pay what it costs for the good guys”.
“Established players have been bought by corporates – their goal is wheedling as much profit out of it rather than [a focus on] service.”
With conveyancers in demand there has been a “race to the bottom with free legals”.
But Schofield said his venture isn’t interested in “sausage factory conveyancing”.
“The panel management firms out there have lost sight of why we instruct a firm.”
There is also “huge appetite from brokers for a referral option,” added Schofield.
Brokers and conveyancers invited to invest
The development on Peak Legal has started this month with the system set to be up and running in September and a launch in October after testing.
Schofield and his team have funded the development but are hoping to raise around £50,000 from fellow brokers and conveyancers to scale up the company for launch.
This means recruiting a team to have them in place at the start rather than gradually adding them.
In return for investment, conveyancers will be offered an enhanced payment on work or enhanced payment on referrals for brokers.
Good service or goodbye
The system will allow brokers to find a quote based on service and turnaround times, as well as other factors such as language and specialisms.
Any conveyancers who fall short of providing good service will simply be kicked off the panel.
To ensure that high quality conveyancers don’t become overloaded with work, Schofield said they will closely control the quota of work sent to firms.
He added: “Brokers are going to respect it more if we say they’re are at capacity, we’re turning off the taps. It’s better to say no sometimes, we’re not going to send more work.”
Schofield said under the system, brokers won’t be the last to know critical information such as when protection needs to go live.
He added: “This will be the best proposition for brokers and clients.”
The system will be free to use for brokers with the firm making money by taking a cut of the legal fee.
Advisers or conveyancers interested in investing can contact Rhys Schofield via LinkedIn or Rhys@PeakMortgagesandProtection.co.uk.