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Speaking of collaboration

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I have read various articles recently saying that many conveyancers are finding operating in lockdown a difficult and, sometimes, painful experience. One such article did, however, go on to say that, on the plus side, there may be some positives to take away from it all.

The author of this article was of the opinion that lockdown has had the following benefits

  • solicitors seem much more cooperative than "normal" in all conveyancing transactions; and
  • the lost art of speaking to people on the phone has returned.

I found the author's observations particularly interesting for the following reasons;.

Firstly, it is completely "normal" for myself and my property colleagues at Rollits to be as helpful and collaborative as possible with the other party's solicitor in all conveyancing transactions. This is most definitely not reserved for the unprecedented times of a pandemic !?

In a conveyancing transaction, everyone is on the "same side" - there is no "other side". Everyone involved in the transaction is usually working towards the same end goal, so it makes no sense at all to be uncooperative in any way.

On a recent transaction, myself and the solicitor acting for the Seller worked together as a team, which included excellent communication by telephone (see below), and, by doing so, we managed to complete an investment purchase with third party bridging in four working days from the acceptance by the Seller of my client's offer - much to the delight of both of our clients. This would not have been possible without the mutual cooperation and collaboration. It is, therefore, self-evident that this way of working saves time, and, of course, if you save time, you invariably save or make your clients more money. Win win !

I, for one, am therefore very much hoping that those conveyancing solicitors who, because of the pandemic, might have only just caught on to how much easier and cost effective a transaction can be if everyone is more cooperative than "normal", continue to be so. This will not only help the clients, but, quite frankly, it will also make the whole conveyancing process more pleasant for everyone involved.

Secondly, as for the lost art of speaking, my friends and colleagues will tell you that I am the biggest advocate for picking up the phone ! Emails have their place, but for the sake of speed and cooperation, nothing beats a conversation - be that with your client or the solicitor acting for the other party.

I bet we can all think of a time when we've received a bit of a "hostile" email from the other party's solicitor, but, when you've actually come to speak with the sender of that e-mail, they have not been at all hostile, and you have managed to resolve any issues reasonably and quickly.

I have come to the conclusion that the lost art of speaking may well be a generational thing. More than one of my previous trainees have seemingly been completely petrified of the telephone. One in particular could go a whole week without speaking to anyone on the telephone at all !! I do therefore hope that the younger generation of solicitors have had to speak more on the telephone in these last couple of months, and have, as a result, experienced for themselves that talking is the way forward!

The Rollits' property team have been very successfully delivering "business as usual" to its' clients thus far during the lockdown, and, as we all did prior to the pandemic, we will continue to be cooperative, collaborative and favour the telephone, so we can continue to offer an efficient and cost effective conveyancing service.

This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.
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