GCF is now “legal”
The First AGM of the new GCF was held at the Hall of the Royal Faculty of Procurators in Glasgow on Tuesday 26 November 2013. About 50 attendees braved the wet weather. Some even attended despite the competition of a certain European football match.
The meeting marked the changeover from the Steering Committee of the GCF to the new Management Committee created by the Constitution. The members of the Management Committee are Paul Carnan of Blaney Carnan, Ian Ferguson of Mitchells Roberton, Martin Berman of Carr Berman Crichton and Mike Samuel of Miller Samuel. The membership fee will remain at £50 per practice unit for 2014.
The meeting adopted the Constitution drafted by Mr Carnan and follows the model of the Constitution of the Edinburgh Conveyancers Forum. Paul Carnan commented “A constitution is important for any organisation as it gives it an identity and explains who or what it is and what it is for.”
The AGM included an informative Presentation on Mortgages for Professionals from the sponsors Wesleyan for Lawyers and on Auto-enrolment for Pensions.
There followed a very interesting talk by Ross McKay, Chair of the ECF, on “The Future of Conveyancing”. This included references to his work on the Review of Conveyancing Practice. It included current and coming issues like
· Digital signatures for legal documents and missives and mention of a “Virtual dealing room” where there is a digital exchange.
· A Quality Badge Scheme with agreed quality standards and agreed styles like a standard style Disposition, Missives etc. with a style Bank.
· A move towards a single set of National Standard Clauses. This is linked to changes required to all the 9 Regional Standard Clauses, appearing on the Law Society website, to cope with Advance Notices etc under LRSA 2012
· Mention of a “UNIFI PROJECT” which is intended as a single portal for info required for property transactions.
· A questionnaire is intended to be issued to the Profession, Lenders and politicians to get views and feedback.
· There is a Review of the Guarantee Fund
· Mention was made of new Lender Panel Management Arrangements agreed by Santander, LBG and RBS supporting a single industry database of law firm details which all lenders can rely on developed in conjunction with Decision First so all panel firms will be able to keep lenders up-to-date with the latest position of their conveyancing practice through a single, secure interface. The sting in the tail is we are to pay for it and gave an example of his own firm paying £850 plus VAT. That is probably per annum.
· The debate and views on SEPREP is with the Regulatory Committee of the Law Society to consider as agreed at the Law Society AGM. As it is independent of the profession it could decide to make a Rule change despite the recent vote against SEPREP. More likely is clarification of the guidance.
The next meeting of the GCF is on Wednesday 26 February 2014, when the CPD topic will be “Rectification of Title”. Ian Ferguson has asked, after a certain clash of events this week, “Can someone please check the fixture list to confirm that we are not clashing with any other European football fixtures?” Not involving Scottish clubs anyway, Ian.
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