51 Hour Charity Lockdown Relay For Mindstep

The Mindstep Lockdown Relay took place over the weekend with more than 120 people participating including many of The Conveyancing Academy Team!

Lloyd, Georgia, Kath, Sabina, James, Alex and strongman Ollie all participated in the relay which ran non-stop from Friday 5pm – Sunday 8pm, each volunteer completing one hour of exercise, 51 hours in total. 

The activities varied from walking, running, dancing, flipping tyres, box jumping, jet washing a patio, DJ’ing and sprints across the Severn Bridge at 5am. One person achieved 761 burpees in an hour! 

The Lockdown Relay aimed to raise awareness of the long-lasting effects COVID -19 has had on mental health and to support suicide prevention research. The event raised an incredible £17,000 for suicide prevention research - over 3x Mindstep's original target! 

Thank you to all those who took part and those who donated via the Just Giving page. 

Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2021 Finalists!

The Conveyancing Academy is proud to announce that our Partner Convey Law are Medium Sized Employer finalists for the prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2021, using Conveyancing Academy training courses!

Over the years, The Conveyancing Academy has supported hundreds of Law firms with their conveyancing training needs. Our Level 3 Practising Conveyancer Apprenticeship is ideal for new and non-qualified Conveyancers. Students next take our Level 4 Conveyancing Technician Apprenticeship and finally the Level 6 Licenced Conveyancer Diploma.

Wales247 reports:

Star employers, inspirational learners and dedicated work-based learning practitioners across Wales have been shortlisted for this year’s prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru.

The annual celebration of outstanding achievement in training and apprenticeships will see 36 finalists compete in 12 categories for awards at a virtual ceremony on April 29.

Highlight of the of the work-based learning calendar, the awards showcase businesses and individuals who have excelled on the Welsh Government’s Apprenticeship and Traineeship Programmes and gone the extra mile to achieve success during these unprecedented times.

The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru are jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW). Openreach, the UK’s digital network business and passionate supporter of apprenticeships, has renewed its headline sponsorship of the awards.

The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.

Minister for the Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates said:

“Congratulations to all of the learners, employers, tutors and assessors shortlisted for Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2021.

“This past year has been incredibly difficult, but we have seen the best in people too, as they demonstrated the talent, skills and commitment to not only succeed themselves but also support others.

“Apprenticeships play a crucial role in the Welsh economy and allow people to earn a wage whilst developing new skills and capabilities. I believe they will be vital in helping us recover from the impacts of coronavirus.

“As a government, we have already achieved our target of creating 100,000 apprenticeships in the Senedd term. I am delighted that thanks to Welsh Government action, we are providing apprentices and trainees of all ages with important experiences which will benefit firms in all sectors of our business community now and in the future.”

Connie Dixon, partnership director for Openreach in Wales, said:

”We’re delighted to be supporting this great event once again this year and would like to congratulate all the finalists for making it this far.

“Apprenticeships have always been a key part of Openreach’s recruitment strategy. Not only do they bring energy, excitement, and enthusiasm to our business, but they also bring new skills, new experiences and new ideas. Good luck to all the finalists.”

Successful businesses are recognised with awards in four categories. The finalists are: Small Employer of the Year (1 to 49 employees): Compact Orbital Gears, Rhayader; Wales England Care Limited, Newport and Thomas Skip and Plant Hire, Caernarfon. Medium Employer of the Year (50 to 249 employees): Andrew Scott Limited, Port Talbot; Convey Law, Newport and Cambria Maintenance Services Limited, Ewloe. Large Employer of the Year (250 to 4,999 employees): Heddlu Dyfed Powys Police, Carmarthen; Aspire Blaenau Gwent and Merthyr Tydfil and Dow Silicones UK Limited, Barry. Macro Employer of the Year (5,000 plus employees): Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, Clydach Vale and Swansea Bay University Health Board, Baglan.

Work-based learning practitioners compete for two awards. Finalists are: Work-based Learning Assessor of the Year: Matt Redd, from Cardiff who works for Sgil Cymru, Rebecca Strange from Thornhill, Cardiff who works for Educ8 Group and Lydia Harris from Bridgend who works for JGR Training. Work-based Learning Tutor of the Year: Stephanie Fry from Wales England Care, Newport, Hannah Kane-Roberts from Splott, Cardiff who works for Itec and Karen Richards from Blackwood who works for ACT, Cardiff.

Awards for apprentices are split into four categories. Finalists are: Foundation Apprentice of the Year: Bethany Mason, 21, Llantrisant; Stevie Williams, 36, of Goytre, Port Talbot and Joel Mallison, 30, of Abergavenny. Apprentice of the Year: William Davies, 20, Aberdare; Owain Carbis, 19, Thornhill, Cardiff; Owen Lloyd, 23, Coed y Cwm, Pontypridd. Higher Apprentice of the Year: Natalie Morgan, 33, Penarth; Rhyanne Rowlands, 38, Aberdare; Ciara Lynch, 22, Morriston, Swansea.

Introduced in 2019, the “Tomorrow’s Talent” category asked employers to nominate stand out current apprentices. Finalists are Sophie Williams, 21, from Hirwaun, who works for Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council’s foster service; Connor Paskell, 21, from Llantrisant, who works for British Airways Avionic Engineering, Llantrisant and Ryan Harris, 21, from Hawthorn, Pontypridd who works for Renishaw plc, Miskin.

An employability category recognises learners in two categories. Finalists are: Traineeship Learner of the Year for Engagement: Jessica Apps, 19, of Forge Side, Blaenavon; Ross Vincent, 18, of Pembroke Dock and Lewis O’Neill, 17, Garden City, Deeside. Traineeships Learner of the Year (Level 1): Thibaud Gailliard, 21, of Ebbw Vale;  James Hopkins, 20, of Beachley, Chepstow and Chloe Harvey, 19, of Monkton, Pembroke.

Conveyancing Training Academy Raises over £800,000 for Charity

Since its establishment in 2004 Charity fundraising has been at the heart of The Academy's work ethic and culture. This week, after 16 years of fundraising The Conveyancing Academy in partnership with Convey Law reach a huge fundraising milestone of £800,978.37 and still counting! 

In 2010 Lloyd established The Conveyancing Foundation to support legal practices with charity fundraising. Companies registered with The Conveyancing Foundation ask their clients if they would like to enter the Free Legal Fee Competition by making a £10 donation to charity. The client is then entered into a monthly Prize Draw, where the winner receives up to £500 towards their Legal Fees.  

The Competition has been recognised by royalty with His Royal Highness Prince Charles congratulating the team on their fundraising efforts in 2017. 

The Foundation has also received immense support over the years from the Conveyancing Association, the Society of Licensed Conveyancers and Bold Group Members.  

Money raised through The Academy, Convey Law and The Conveyancing Foundation has helped support thousands of families in England and Wales over the years.  

Ty Hafan, one of the UK’s leading paediatric palliative care charities has been a key benefactor. The Ty Hafan team offer care to children and support for their families throughout Wales in incredibly difficult times. The Conveyancing Academy in partnership with Convey Law have donated more than £300,000 over the years to this charity, with The Conveyancing Academy's MD Lloyd Davies Appointed as Ty Hafan’s Corporate Ambassador in 2014. 

The Academy and Convey Law have also raised over £80,000 for Children with Cancer UK, the leading national children’s charity dedicated to the fight against childhood cancer. 

Other brilliant causes include Alzheimer’s Research UK, BBC Children in Need and Mindstep Foundation.   

The Conveyancing Academy has hosted and participated in various fundraising events over the years including the Ty Hafan China Trek that raised over £12,000 and The Academy's regular dress down days which have raised over £20,000.  

Chairman of the Conveyancing Foundation and MD of The Conveyancing Academy, Lloyd Davies: 

“Thank you for your hard work and for supporting each other and those less fortunate than us.” 

To sign up to The Conveyancing Foundation’s legal fee competition or to make a donation, please contact pr@conveylaw.com. 

Today's Conveyancer: Property expert views on conveyancing transaction hold-ups

Lloyd Davies MD of The Conveyancing Academy was approached by Today’s Conveyancer to provide his expert opinion on how conveyancing transactions can be sped up.

Today's Conveyancer reports:

Transactions already underway in the sector may not complete before the deadline due to hold ups and delays because of unprecedented pressures on the conveyancing industry  – But who in the sector is causing the hold ups?

There has been a big debate over transaction delays, more recently in the last few weeks, due to the sheer volume of purchases being processed in response to the easing of restrictions after lockdowns, and of course the stamp duty holiday ending on March 31 next year.

After property sector industry bodies collaborated and sent an open and frank letter to the Chancellor urging him to extend the stamp duty land tax (SDLT) holiday, conveyancing professionals voiced their concerns over the lack of SDLT extension in the Chancellor’s spending review last month.

Rob Hailstone, chief executive of the Bold Legal Group has said that some mortgage lenders are making the current delays in the housebuying process worse as some lenders are struggling under the current pressure of work. He said: 

“Conveyancers are finding it difficult to get confirmation that the Certificate of Title (requesting the mortgage money for completion) has been received and all is in order for completion. They are also experiencing difficulty when requesting and receiving redemption figures in good time.

“Some firms won’t now exchange until the CoT has been submitted and it has been acknowledged that there is no problem”

It has been confirmed by one lender that they no longer produce redemption figures in advance of the completion date and that instead they only produce them ‘on the day.’

Hailstone asks:

“How are conveyancers supposed to prepare for completion if they can’t obtain a redemption figure – not even an indicative one – in advance of completion?”

Conveyancers, lenders, surveyors, estate agents and local authorities have been working tirelessly since the Chancellor’s announcement of SDLT holiday – where house buyers are exempt from paying the property tax on the first £500,000. It is due to end on March 31st 2021 but the scheme has caused a huge surge in the housing market.

Hailstone continues:

“This is not a finger pointing exercise, that would be unfair and unwarranted whilst we are in these uncharted waters.

“Conveyancers, surveyors, local authorities and others are all finding it difficult to work efficiently 100 per cent of the time. However, the role of the lender, in issuing offers, processing requests for redemption statements and releasing mortgage funds is vital.”

Conveyancers took to LinkedIn to air their struggles in the last few days with one particular lender, HSBC, one conveyancer said:

“We have all been struggling to get through to them on the phone let us know if [they] get any better!”

Another conveyancer commented:

“Didn’t release our funds today….Phone calls cutting off, hours of waiting times. Awful.”

In the Bank of England’s Money and Credit report it was revealed that mortgage approvals were at their highest levels in over a decade, detailing that mortgage approvals are at a 13-year high, with an additional £4.3bn secured borrowing in October.

This month, Today’s Conveyancer reported on how lenders were resourcing up for the current mortgage volumes – with the end of the first lockdown seeing a surge in home buying and demand for mortgages. Most staff in lending firms are working from home, apart from the branches, and have been working hard to keep up with the volume of business.

A HSBC UK spokesperson commented on conveyancers struggling to get through to use their services. They said:

“The mortgage market is very buoyant at this time and we are seeing high demand for our mortgages. We are aware that this has caused some service pressures, particularly on our Help Desk for solicitors, and while we have thousands of COTs completing every day without issue, we are continuing to work hard to put measures in place to meet that demand. We are seeing call wait times are falling as a consequence, but we apologise to those who have experienced delays. We have introduced an email acknowledgement on submission of Certificate of Title and also when funds are released, reducing the need for solicitors to ring us and to also provide confidence that the matter will complete.

Recognising that this is a busy time, we would appreciate support from conveyancers in ensuring they give us 6 days’ notice for release of funds.”

Lloyd Davies, MD of The Conveyancing Academy comments on transaction hold-ups. He said:

“The conveyancing market is incredibly busy at the moment leading into Christmas and there is enormous pressure on all aspects of the conveyancing process and, in particular, lenders are struggling to keep pace with the demands. Conveyancers, more often than not, will not exchange contracts until they are sure that funds will be received from the lender. Conveyancers are often having to spend hours holding on the telephone to lenders to ensure funds are going to be received or redemption statements are reconfirmed.

“Moving forward, lenders need to be using portals to receive and confirm funds requests and to deal with queries. Having to fax or deal with lenders over the phone is archaic in this day and age, especially when these online portal facilities are already available to the lending community.

“The most organised conveyancers are now using the CA ‘Code for Completion’ which allows for an easier moving day experience for clients, with funds being transferred to the conveyancer on the other side the day before completion and being held to order. The clients are then able to move as they would like to on the day of completion, without waiting on funds being received by the other side.

“The current situation will only get worse leading up to the 31st March and the end of the present SDLT holiday. All industry stakeholders are campaigning for an extension to take the heat out of the market, failing which thousands of transactions are likely to miss the deadline due to the current backlog and delays. We also need a buoyant housing market come the spring to restart the economy and the SDLT holiday has certainly moved the property market forward in recent months, with record volumes of property transactions.”

Industry Leading Conveyancing Training Academy Experiences Phenomenal Growth

The Conveyancing industry is currently experiencing exponential growth, with Indeed reporting a 130% growth (over 900 roles), in the conveyancing sector since July.  

With a reported 21% increase in residential transactions during September compared to August and the continuous rise in demand in the property market in England and Wales, a lack of qualified conveyancers has forced many practices to overstep the maximum level of caseloads being handled by Conveyancers.   

Since 2014, the Conveyancing Academy has supported the conveyancing industry by developing staff and training complete novices into skilled and competent Conveyancers within 6 to 12 months through their Conveyancing Courses and Apprenticeship Pathway. The Academy currently collaborates with over 100 companies across England and Wales supporting them with their training needs.  

In recent months, The Conveyancing Academy’s online Apprentice Training Programme has grown by a phenomenal 260%, with the number of students increasing from 45 in January 2020 to 165 in November, allowing practices across England and Wales to increase their revenue and caseload capabilities.   

The Conveyancing Academy was established in 2014 after Residential Conveyancing practice Convey Law identified a lack of Conveyancers in the industry and lack of practical conveyancing courses covering all elements of hands-on conveyancing training.  

The Conveyancing Academy has recently secured Government funding for all new Apprenticeships, with up to up to 110% Government funding available in England and Wales. The new Government Scheme provides for a £2000 incentive for any Apprentice employed under 25 and a £1500 incentive for any Apprentice employed over 25. This incentive is only in place until March 31st, 2021. 

The Academy’s Pathway allows Trainees to seamlessly transition from Level 3 Practicing Conveyancer Apprenticeship which is ideal for new and non-qualified Conveyancers, to Level 4 Conveyancing Technician Apprenticeship and finally the Level 6 where they qualify as a regulated Licensed Conveyancer. 

Sean McCarthy, Conveyancer, Convey Law:  

“Having the ability to do the course online in my own time is really helping me to achieve my goal of becoming a Licenced Conveyancer. The Level 3 Apprenticeship Diploma has increased my knowledge of more specific areas of conveyancing such as pre-contract enquires, searches, mortgage offers and exchanging contracts. My Tutor is so supportive. She is always there to provide feedback and responds to calls and emails promptly”. 

Over the past 6 years Academy Tutors, have delivered over 35,000 hours of training to over 800 trainees across England and Wales. The Academy is accredited and regulated by the Scottish Qualification Authority and the Education and Skills Funding Agency. It is the training organisation of choice for both the Conveyancing Association and the Society of Licensed Conveyancers. 

To support your business growth, find out more about Academy Training Courses and available Funding on the Academy website or contact the team on 01633 261295. 

Today's Conveyancer: To train or not to train; that is the question

Today's Conveyancer reports:

Lloyd Davies is Managing Director of The Conveyancing Academy and Convey Law shares his thoughts on Training vs Recruitment.

As Today’s Conveyancer continues to report, conveyancing vacancies on the Indeed recruitment site have seen 130% growth since July.

The property market continues to boom, with sales agreed so far in 2020 surpassing the 2019 total.

For those businesses whose role it is to service this demand, their ability to cope has been restricted by capacity. In terms of recruitment, staffing has been a major challenge. There has been a considerable shift in the ways of working such as working from home, furlough, and the ongoing impact of illness and self-isolation which can hamper delivery.

Haven’t we been here before?

Following the loss of many Conveyancing experts in the previous recession, Convey Law in discussion with fellow leading practitioners in the Conveyancing field, identified the need to recruit new staff and train them quickly.

But is recruitment always the answer? There is a great deal of uncertainty around the impact of the so-called ‘cliff edge’ at the end of the SDLT holiday in March; will property transactions tail off, will they remain constant, will buyers pull out ahead of March because they know they won’t meet the Stamp Duty deadline?

Could this leave many of the conveyancers recruited to cope with demand twiddling their thumbs?

The middle ground here is to both recruit and look to upskill existing staff.

The Apprenticeship Programme at Convey Law has trained complete novices into competent conveyancing professionals within 6 to 12 months.

Training is provided in-house by accredited and experienced Tutors, in state-of-the-art training facilities. Our Apprenticeship Pathway provides the most effective and valuable apprenticeship experience, increasing engagement, productivity, and transferable skills.

Our Apprenticeship Programme has had a direct benefit to our Apprentices by providing an excellent career pathway, salary increases at key training milestones and a great training environment.

Developing our Apprenticeship Pathway was critical as we could not engage sufficient Conveyancers to grow our business. We also identified the need to support existing employees through a structured, consistent, hands-on training pathway.

Despite a huge recruitment drive, we found a lack of Conveyancers in the industry was holding us back from achieving our targets.

As a result, in 2014 we developed our own academic Apprenticeship Courses for staff to learn, develop and grow. This allowed us to employ Apprentices with no previous legal experience and train them into qualified conveyancers. We have now trained over 60 Trainee Conveyancers through our in-house Apprenticeship Programme.

The Practicing Conveyancer Legal Diploma which is available through The Conveyancing Academy, allows legal practices to recruit new staff and develop their skills quickly. The course is designed for both Trainee Solicitors and new and non-qualified Conveyancers and offers practical knowledge allowing companies to train complete novices into competent and fee earning Conveyancers within 6 to 12 months.

Individuals quickly get up to speed with all the rudimentaries of practising conveyancing, from taking instructions to completing transactions. A very intensive 6-month Training Programme allows Trainees to be exposed to greater responsibility from an early stage, resulting in the overall training process being short-circuited compared to the lengthy traditional training procedure.

Training provides individuals with both academic and legal knowledge, combined with the practical application of the skills taught during the course. The Trainee is prepared to manage their own caseload highly effectively.

Consider the often quoted corporate dilemma of investing in employees…

“What if we train them and they leave?” says the CFO to the CEO; “what if we don’t and they stay!?” is the response.

Author: Lloyd Davies is Managing Director of The Conveyancing Academy and Convey Law

Industry Thought Leader Lloyd Davies Provides BBC News His View On The Government’s Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) Holiday

Lloyd Davies, Managing Director of The Conveyancing Academy explains why extending the Stamp Duty Tax Holiday would benefit those working in the property industry and those in the process of buying property.

BBC News reports:

Solicitors ask local authorities to carry out the searches on issues including planning and traffic.

Telor Dyer, a residential conveyancer in Carmarthenshire, said waiting times in some parts of Wales had doubled to 30 working days.

Pembrokeshire council said it had a backlog after the lockdown in March.

The Conveyancing Association warned the backlog facing local authorities was "becoming a significant issue".

Local authority searches show details about a property such as whether it is a listed building or in a conservation area. These details can have an effect on future planning works to the property.

Not a 'unique issue'

Pembrokeshire council, one of the local authorities facing difficulties, said it would not be processing any new searches "other than those deemed urgent" due to its backlog.

Issues, the council said, included the inability to access County Hall, where searches have to be checked against maps stored there, followed by the unprecedented demand in property sales since the lifting of restrictions.

But a council spokesperson said this was "not an issue unique to Pembrokeshire - many other local authorities are working to a 40-day turn around".

The spokesperson said their usual turnaround for searches was seven to 10 days, but due to the pressures on the service, they have implemented an average 20-day turnaround to work through the backlog.

"The matter is being kept under constant review."

Residential conveyancer Mr Dyer, based in St Clears, said he had seen significant delays and that they were down to a property boom and staff shortages.

"Usually, we anticipate, searches would take 10 to 15 working days, but now it's taking 30 working days." 

"There's nothing we can do speed things up. We have had sellers pull out and there's nothing we can do about it."

Rebecca Goldsworthy, director and head of residential property in south-east Wales for JCP Solicitors, said local searches were an important part of the buying process.

"There's nothing we can do about that other than advise our clients there is a bit of a wait. We are concerned another lockdown period will cause further delay," 

"A delay with searches will hold up the chains."

Stamp Duty Tax Holiday

Meanwhile, the Conveyancing Association has called on the government to extend the Stamp Duty Tax Holiday (SDTH) which currently ends in March 2021 in light of these delays.

In Wales, the SDTH has meant the starting threshold for land transaction tax has increased from £180,000 to £250,000 for the residential main rates until 31 March 2021.

Lloyd Davies, operations director of the Conveyancing Association, said their member firms, who undertake about 30% of all property transactions in England and Wales, were in a similar position and were 130% to 150% over capacity at the moment.

"We are calling upon the government to relieve the pressure by extending the Stamp Duty Land Tax holiday until 2022 as a minimum - otherwise there will be a very large number of disappointed people and aborted transactions that will not meet this current deadline." 

The Welsh Government said the temporary changes to land transaction tax were specific time-limited measures intended to support the housing market and broader economy in Wales during the remainder of this financial year but were kept under regular review.

Conveyancing Association October Webinar: The Importance of Training, Recruitment and Staff Welfare

Lloyd Davies MD of Convey Law, The Conveyancing Academy and Director of The Conveyancing Association joined CA Members to discuss approaches to conveyancer training, recruitment, and staff welfare. The Webinar is part of the series of Zoom Meetings created by the Association to provide their Members with the most up to date conveyancing and practice support.

The Conveyancing Association Members include the top residential conveyancing companies in the UK, with Members benefiting by being at the forefront of decision making and having access to exclusive networking events.

Paul Smee (Non-Executive Chair of The Conveyancing Association) introduced the first session of the CA Webinar ‘’Training and Recruitment’’ with Lloyd Davies. Members were presented with The Conveyancing Academy’s new Level 3 Practicing Conveyancer Legal Diploma course and Convey Law’s Training Academy Pathway.

‘’Within The Academy we have trained complete novices into competent conveyancing professionals within 6 to 12 months using the Practicing Conveyancer Legal Diploma apprenticeship modules.’’

‘’The Pathway developed within The Academy leads to evolve our Trainees into skilled Conveyancers providing a highly effective service and exceed client expectations.’’

‘’Training can help you develop your staff and grow your business. Now with great new government funding initiatives available, individuals could receive up to 110% Government Funding in England and Wales to train their team until the 31st March 2021.’’

Following this, Members broke away into online breakout rooms to discuss their own training and recruitment initiatives.

Victoria Presa, Director at Simply Conveyancing:

 ‘’How competent are individuals in completing freehold and leasehold contracts after the 6month training period within The Conveyancing Academy?’’

 Lloyd Davies explained:

‘’Trainees must complete a certain number of competencies before progressing to Live Teams. After practice and the completion of 10 freehold and 10 leasehold contracts only then they are signed off as competent. We have also created a great framework to allow us to reward the staff for their successful completion of their competencies.’’

Claire Goodridge, HR Manager at Simply Conveyancing:

‘’Are people interested in becoming apprentices regardless a low starting salary?’’

 Lloyd Davies gave his insight on the matter:

‘’Trainees within a month can achieve a £2k pay rise. A clear trajectory is provided with wages reaching £23k after the 5 month period and further rising to £25k after completing their leasehold competencies. A bonus scheme is added to top up their wages based on their KPIs.’’

Claire explained the training approach followed by her company:

‘’Trainees enter as Legal Support, progress to an Assistant to the company’s Lawyers through on the job training. The process takes significantly longer than the 5 months The Conveyancing Academy Course.’’

Lloyd advised:

‘’The course gives great structure on how to audit competencies and is versatile enough to support with training a large or small number of Trainees. Within the Academy already from month 2 the Trainees get their own files and cases giving them greater responsibility and exposure.’’

Part 2 of the CA Webinar focused on the important topic of Staff Welfare. Lloyd introduced guest speaker David Atwick, Convey Law’s onsite counsellor.

David talked through his experience counselling many individuals within the conveyancing industry and the most common issues raised.

David:

‘’There is a noticeable correlation between mental health and perceived workload. This can trigger a negative mentality and thought process. A negative pack mentality amongst team members can collectively affect morale.’’    

‘‘When dealing with the staff on an individual basis, in at least 40% of the cases, the increased workload was not the main factor in creating a negative mentality. Instead, factors from outside work were mostly influencing a negative thought process. Personal issues such as financial difficulties and situations from home were the root of the problem with the additional workload just exaggerating those problems.’’

The interactive session found Members discussing ongoing initiatives applied in their firms and how they are managing Staff Welfare.

Lloyd focused on the importance of monitoring capacity:

‘’Ensuring we don’t reach maximum capacity in caseloads should not be a staff benefit but a necessity.’’

Edward Goldsmith, Founding Partner and Special Advisor to the Association:

‘‘Could counselling sessions be used as a tool, allowing teams to manage more productively a higher number of cases?’’

Lloyd explained:

‘’David helped staff control their anxieties, allowing them to better manage the transition between periods leading to reaching capacity. Breaking down and compartmentalising the process helped to calm everyone down and build the team morale.’’

The next CA Webinar from the CA Zoom Meetings series will take place on Tuesday 3rd November.

For more information on the available government funding click here.

To find out more on the available government funded Academy training courses and training options offered, contact the team on 01633261295.

SLC Forward Thinking Conference 2020 - Training Opportunities in the Conveyancing Industry with Lloyd Davies

Lloyd Davies MD of Convey Law, The Conveyancing Academy and SLC Director introduced the new Level 3 Practising Conveyancer Legal Diploma at the ‘Forward Thinking Conference’ held online by the Society of Licenced Conveyancers (SLC) on Tuesday 13th October.    

The SLC conference engages over 200 Members and non-Members with leading industry Practitioners, Licenced Conveyancers and CILEX Members.  

While the pandemic forced many events to be postponed or cancelled, the SLC Forward Thinking Conference provided the opportunity for Conveyancers to learn and enhance their career prospects while earning CPD points. 

Day one of the event introduced the event host Kate Faulker (owner of Designs on Property), partaking in an informative live chat with Lloyd Davies and Claire Richardson (Deputy Director of Authorisation at CLC). They discussed the current and future state of the training landscape in the Conveyancing industry as well as the challenges it is faced with.  

Claire Richardson encouraged law firms to continue training their staff stating: 

‘’Do not stop identifying candidates and bringing them on board. Technology and innovation have made it so much easier and flexible to study.’’  

During the Q&A the idea of the continuous evolution of the conveyancing industry was reinforced. A range of available Government Funding options for Apprenticeships and Adult Learner Loans were also discussed. 

Lloyd Davies explained: 

“The government is encouraging legal apprenticeships and funding Licensed Conveyancer Diplomas and qualifications. The Level 3 Practicing Conveyancer Legal Diploma has the ability to train and put into employment thousands of Licensed Conveyancers. Now it is the time to identify individuals within your business that require training and upskilling as until the 31st March training is fully funded and will help your business grow.’’ 

The Level 3 Conveyancing Course is the first in the UK and is ideal for Trainee Solicitors and new and unqualified Conveyancers. Academy Courses are delivered online, fully accredited and with 110% Government Funding available in England and Wales until the 31st March 2021. The Academy trains complete novices into qualified Conveyancers in 6 to 12 months who can manage their own caseloads.  

Ollie Drake - Convey Law, described his learning experience: 

"Having the ability to do the course in my own time has really helped me achieve my goal of becoming a Licensed Conveyancer. My Tutor was incredibly supportive, knowledgeable and understanding throughout my study. A massive thank you to the Academy team. I am excited to see what comes next!" 

For more information on the available courses and training options contact the team on: 01633261295.  

Conveyancing Vacancies Grow Exponentially

Conveyancing jobs have doubled since the end of July, according to the Indeed website.

Over the last few months, Today’s Conveyancer has been observing and monitoring the number of recruitment adverts that included the term ‘conveyancer’ had been placed on the Indeed website – and since the end of July until towards the end of this month job roles advertised have seen over a 100% increase.

At the end of last month, we reported that in only 4 weeks there had been a 59.8% rise in conveyancing jobs.

The HMRC transactions data, that was released this week, shows a continued uptick in demand – revealing the property market in England and Wales was 15% busier in August than July, indicating Stamp Duty holiday is a major contributing factor to the rise.

In the last few months, the UK property Market has experienced a large surge in the number of sales agreed in July and August, totalling more than £37 billion, this is stark contrast to the summer sales lull that is usually experienced in previous years.

According to Rightmove monthly house price index, the rush of activity we have seen post-lockdown is the highest number of homes being put up for sale since March 2008.

The same message has been echoed by property professionals, such as conveyancers and estate agents who have also reported a huge growth in workload.

For Lloyd Davies Managing Director of The Conveyancing Academy and Convey Law, the surge in demand is an opportunity for many firms to upskill existing staff for free with the new government funding schemes.

In the last week The Conveyancing Academy has developed and launched the first Level 3 practical conveyancing course in the UK – the Level 3 Practicing Conveyancer Legal Diploma.

The course is ideal for Trainee Solicitors and new and non-qualified conveyancers alike, with 110% government funding available in England and Wales for the first time until the 31st March 2021.

Commenting on the development of the course and the benefits he has seen whilst testing it within Convey Law, Davies says

“We have developed a very practical conveyancing course, which allows us to train complete novices into competent and confident conveyancers in less than 6 months. Over a 12 month period these young trainees become “King Kong Conveyancers” with their own caseloads covering all aspects of residential conveyancing.

“We were frustrated at the lack of practical training courses in the market and so we developed our own.  It is all online, using videos and concise, practical written material, which incorporates best practice and the legal issues that conveyancers regularly encounter.

“With a lack of Conveyancers in the industry, the course has allowed us to expand our business and cope with demand while developing – and retaining – our staff.”

Yesterday, Rishi Sunak unveiled an emergency jobs scheme which will see continual top up to employees’ wages who have not been able to return to the work full time because of coronavirus.
In order to stop mass job cuts, the alternative Job Support Scheme will be introduced on the 1st November, which will replace the current furlough scheme, due to end on the 31st October.
The new scheme is proposed to give workers three quarters of their normal salaries for a further six months.

According to official figures there is nearly 3 million workers (which equates to 12% of the UK’s workforce) currently on partial or full furlough leave.

Mr Sunak said the new scheme would “support only viable jobs” whereas the existing furlough scheme has only kept jobs going because the government has been subsidising the wages over the last 6 months or so.

However, at a recent press conference, Mr Sunak refused to comment on what he meant by “viable jobs”.

Sunak commented by saying:

“It is not for me to sit here and make pronouncements on every individual job.

“What I want to be able to do is to provide as much support as possible given the constraints we operate in. We obviously can’t sustain the same level of things that we were doing at the beginning of this crisis.”

“The primary goal of our economic policy remains unchanged – to support people’s jobs – but the way we achieve that must evolve.”

“I cannot save every business, I cannot save every job.”