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Paperless Conveyancing: the Rise and Fall of Veyo

In 2015 the Law Society was announced the launch of Veyo, a leading-edge conveyancing web portal was to be launched on 26 May 2015.

The aim of Veyo was to allow all parties in residential property transactions to securely access, communicate and progress together through the full process of conveyancing. It would not only allow instant access to information and documentation, fast communication between all parties and provide enhance risk management procedures. It would most importantly meet client’s expectations to be involved in a transparent and efficient process, through instantaneous transfer of information reducing the risk of any delays.

With the Land Registry and Search Providers having already digitised to pre and post completion processes, the launch of Veyo appeared to be the last piece of innovation leading the way to paperless conveyancing.

One of the biggest assets of Veyo was the idea that all parties within a property transaction chain access information across the whole chain.  As it is often the case in conveyancing, client’s sale to buy onwards and Veyo would allow them to see the full extent of their chain, be aware of the progress of the transaction below or above, as well as knowing for example when the whole chain is ready to exchange. That simple feature of the portal alone would revolutionised the way in which clients buy and sell their homes. The time and cost saved by agents and practioners in that respect would be incalculable. The conveyancing nationwide were holding out for the potential of welcoming a new era of residential conveyancing, with efficient and accessible.

Where is Veyo now? As they say: if it is too good to be true, it probably is. Unfortunately, despite having around 80 law firms having taken part in the first phase of Veyo in May 2015, the Law Society still did not accomplish any of the promise and claims it had made in regards to it. The time is has taken for this project to reach a tangible stage has led to wide spread scepticism. One of the major cause was the lack of clarity in regards to the integration with search providers, the land registry, HMRC and mortgage lender approval of the project. As it stood in the first phase, only conveyancers had access to the portal, with no other agencies being integrated, meaning practioners still have to juggle their case management system, land registry portal, search providers database for information, nothing was in one place.

The Law Society, nor Mastek UK, the IT firm designing of the portal gave any credible explanation as to the lack of incorporation of other agencies and parties to the transaction. In fact the Veyo was facing huge competition, in other IT companies offering law firms sophisticated case management system, allowing integration with other agency such as land registry and search providers which in itself is streamlining the firm’s efficiency in the conveyancing.  These integrated CMS offered features such as web links to documentation which can be sent to all parties to be accessed securely and instantly, integration with additional software such as Microsoft 365 and Outlook for more efficient document production and communication.

Months before the Christmas period, rumours arose within the conveyancing community that the project was delayed due to “prolonged testing” and the Law society did not want to rush the project so as to get the portal absolutely right. It came to no surprise that by December the Law Society issued a statement stating that there will not be any further investment in Veyo. They claim that part of the reason is due to a change in the market, with other software providers having been having to respond to firm’s needs and also the cost of Veyo outweighing the benefits. The timescale in which they advertised the portal going live was over ambitious.

Having been a disappointing end to a very anticipated project, the Law Society have given way for new products and software already developed by cutting edge IT firms to fulfil the e-conveyancing vision. Now that their project no longer conflicts with a Law Society endorsed scheme, we believe that we have not heard the last of paperless conveyancing. We as a firm are pushing at the forefront of the new developments, as well as offering bespoke and traditional legal services, our firm will always strive to use modern technology to meet our clients’ needs.