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Corporate Members 2021

3PB Albion Chambers Ashfords Barcan + Kirby Battens Beale & Co BLM Burges Salmon Clarke Willmott CMS CMNO Cooke Painter Ltd Clyde & Co DAC Beachcroft The Family Law Practice Foot Anstey (including Enable Law) Fussell Wright GL Law Guildhall Chambers Irwin Mitchell Solicitors Lyons Davidson Marc White & Co Meade King Osborne Clarke Paragon Costs Solutions Queen Square Chambers … more


BLS features in Bristol Post oldest thriving companies in Bristol

Excerpt from the article: How Bristol’s oldest companies are still thriving after more than 100 years in business They include the city’s last-surviving chocolate maker a wine merchant and a tannery. Why do some companies struggle to survive beyond a year while others flourish for hundreds? Although more than 90 per cent of small companies in Britain will survive one … more


No 12, The Meeting Rooms – Conference, Meeting and Mediation Rooms for Hire

Please note that the BLS office is shut to members at present as we continue to work from home during the pandemic. We can be contacted on info@bristollawsociety.com. In the meantime, our office is now operating as the Bristol Nightingale Court and accordingly, we are unable to hire out our facilities until further notice. (Oct 2020) Bristol Law Society’s suite … more


Conveyancing Cases Rise 15% in a Year


The amount of conveyancing work being undertaken by legal practices and conveyancers in Britain has risen 15% over the last year.

 

A national survey of conveyancing and legal firms by property search provider SearchFlow found the majority of solicitors have seen their conveyancing workloads increase over the last year. 59% of firms reported a rise over the last twelve months while only 7% have seen levels fall.

 

The rise in workloads is in contrast to the number of property transactions taking place in the market. According to the latest Land Registry House Price Index, sales volumes are down 3% year-on-year.

 

Nearly three quarters (73%) of firms said that increased legal practice compliance has led to a rise in the amount of work their businesses need to do in order to maintain their standards.  Only a fifth (22%) of firms have bolstered resource in order to meet the increased requirements. Nearly half of firms (46%) are managing this increased workload with the same resource.

 

Marshall King, chief executive of SearchFlow, said:

“The fact that firms are not yet taking on resource indicates that the recovery is still seen as fragile. The combination of the rise in workload and increased compliance requirements mean firms need to ensure their processes and procedures are as streamlined and efficient as possible ”;

 

Threats to Business

More than a quarter of solicitors and conveyancers (27%) expect the main threat to the industry in the next twelve months to come from lenders’ panel selection decisions. Despite initial fears regarding the introduction of Alternative Business Structures (ABSs), legal firms don’t yet regard them as an immediate threat. Just 13% of firms felt ABSs were a significant threat to their business.

 

A fifth (21%) felt the weak property market posed the greatest threat – a threat that might increase should artificial props such as low interest rates and Funding for Lending be removed.  15% felt the increasing cost of insurance would have the biggest impact this year.

 

Greatest threats in next 12 months

Panel Selection 27%
Weak property market 21%
Increasing cost of insurance 15%
Competition from ABSs 13%
Commoditisation of legal services 13%
Increasing risk of liability 11%

 

The low proportion of legal firms that see competition from ABSs as a significant threat is reflected in the year-on-year change in the proportion of firms who are considering becoming an ABS, however, it appears the majority are undecided on what to do regarding their structural status.

 

In 2012, 21% of firms said they would consider becoming an ABS. This has fallen to just 11% in 2013 with a quarter of firms (25%) saying they won’t consider it. However, the proportion of firms undecided about their future has increased significantly, from 36% saying they didn’t know whether they would become an ABS in 2012 to 63% in 2013.

 

Marshall King, said:

“The fact that Panel selection and market weakness is top of mind for many solicitor firms probably indicates that security of incoming business remains the overall top concern – which reinforces the lack of clear confidence in the market recovery”