One of the Law Society’s key strategic aims is to serve our members through a detailed understanding of their needs, providing tools and services which they can use every day.
We saw huge potential benefits in having a digital one-stop-shop for conveyancing and also knew there was appetite for this among the profession.
The recent legislation allowing solicitors to use electronic signatures on documents alongside the rollout of the Law Society digital Smartcard, which all Scottish solicitors will have in the next few months, will mean that the development of an online service will help to speed up conveyancing processes as well as providing an accurate and fully accountable system, benefitting both solicitors and their clients.
The Society, through its Property Law Committee, set up the Future of Conveyancing Working party. Its remit was to look at ways of improving the conveyancing process and one of the ideas was to look at an online conveyancing portal. There are existing examples on the market, but we wanted to be sure of having a product that was suitable for the Scottish market and offered value for money for Scottish solicitors. We launched an open tender process in April 2015 to ensure that any business that would be invited to tender could come up with a cost-effective online solution which will work for solicitors and others involved in the property sector.
The development work on Altis was already well underway at that stage and we were very pleased to be able to get involved by forming a partnership with the ESPC (Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre) and BDP Estate Agency Software. Our stake in the new venture demonstrates our commitment and gives us an ability to help shape development of this new service so it will meet the needs of our members.
We’re looking forward to the launch of Altis – we know it will provide a great new way of working for our property solicitors.
Lorna Jack, Chief Executive, Law Society of Scotland