Solicitors offer a range of services generally. The law is a wide field so you wouldn’t expect a solicitor today to be able to specialise in multiple aspects of the law although depending on age it is probable that many may have worked in various roles over the years for the experience or because they’ve just felt like a change. Usually you’d find that most modern solicitors are specialising in very limited fields as you really have to specialise to be any good at it. These fields could be land Law, Commercial litigation, Crime, Divorce amongst others. Conveyancing is not necessarily regarded as a particularly exciting aspect of law and most persons acting at manager or partner level within a conveyancing department are working there tantamount to being in exile. You’ll also get legal executives and licensed conveyancers who are specialising in conveyancing only and this is all they will do day in day out.
Licensed conveyancers are similar to solicitors specialising in conveyancing. They have to have the same knowledge base and they would have both passed exams on the subject to do their jobs. The main difference is that a solicitor could effectively cease working conveyancing and pick up another aspect of law immediately whereas a licensed conveyancer can only work in that field. The regulating bodies are different too.
You’ll find that when trying to engage the services of a conveyancer for buying a property there will be restrictions imposed upon the borrower to choose a conveyancer who is on the lenders approved list of persons who can act for them. You can usually check up on this with online quotations as to who is eligible to represent you or otherwise.
It has been noted that there appear to be more restrictions imposed by the lender on the licensed conveyancers than on solicitor firms.
Not that there should be any differences in standards being applied as conveyancing today is mostly standardised with standard contracts and documentation forms being used and the procedures of diligence would be no different if a licenced conveyancer was doing the work instead of a solicitor.
I’ve noticed that some solicitors practices offering conveyancing services, and not all do, are also offering a no completion no fee pledge. This is an added bonus as not all cases get to complete maybe through no fault of your own but there are many other factors that can prevent or frustrate a contract from being completed. These can include the death of the seller pre completion where the estate of the deceased falls upon the control of some other party or into probate for a time. Buyers and sellers above or below you but who are all indirectly connected with your sale or purchase transaction if they are found to be in what is known as a chain. One of the metaphoric links may break and they’ll need fixing at some point in order that all connected parties can proceed.
It’s not really something we’d recommend you have go at doing yourself as it’s complex, sensitive and fraught with financial risk if you don’t know what you’re doing. The costs of solicitor conveyancing fees are pretty cheap these days, it is usually the extras that push the overall fee charge up.