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Life as a Trainee Conveyancer during the Stamp Duty Holiday

Written by

Joe Matthews


Published on

August 27, 2021

Joe Matthews is a trainee solicitor in our residential property team, specialising in conveyancing and remortgaging.

Beginning a new role under any circumstances can be challenging; with new skills to be learned, a change in workload and the added responsibilities that this can often bring. I quickly found, however, that the biggest challenge of all would be attempting to adapt to this new position and study, all with the Stamp Duty Holiday deadline quickly approaching.

I began the Conveyancing Academy’s Level 4 Conveyancing Technician qualification in May along with 4 other apprentices within the firm. Through beginning my new role as a Trainee Conveyancer, I transitioned from assisting with Leasehold & Litigation department to working directly with Mandeep Kaur Ryatt, one of our experienced Property Solicitors, helping to manage her caseload with two months remaining until the Stamp Duty Holiday came to a close. This mentorship is giving me a wealth of practical conveyancing experience.

The course sets out a number of practical challenges in which I need to show evidence that I am competent. Examples of this include reporting on replies to enquiries, reporting to Client’s on management packs and conducting Leasehold Title checks. This has been extremely useful and was actually beneficial in dealing with the pressures of the Stamp Duty deadline, as it provided targets to work towards with my mentor who was able to set tasks for me to complete on the files based around these challenges. This, in turn, allowed us to work together on files which required completion prior to the deadline passing.

This course does not only involve practical experience, it also requires a theoretical understanding of the Law, with the first unit of my studies being The English Legal System. Amphlett Lissimore was able to provide assistance and support with this by facilitating a balance of four days of working directly in the team and one day of committed study throughout the week. The allowance of a dedicated study time greatly helped as it allowed me to focus solely on the task at hand when in the office rather than trying to learn the practical and the theory simultaneously. Even in the last couple of weeks of June, when all the conveyancers were doing their best to get their clients transactions over the line, I was still encouraged to have this focused time on my studies. It was stressful towards the back-end of June. Our clients were understandably concerned about missing the deadline and the financial implications of that happening. The Residential Property team were working flat out dealing with delays, last minute alterations, or chasing chains, but my mentor or someone else in the team would always make time to explain the different elements of the conveyancing process and to ensure I was on track with my studies.

Not only has the practical experience helped with the associated learning, but I feel that the theoretical element of the course and the additional recommended reading has helped me to gain a deeper understanding of why the tasks I am carrying out on a daily basis are so important, why they are actually required, and the consequences of them if done incorrectly. Once I have completed each module of the course, I expect that the knowledge I have gained will greatly assist in my work and will no doubt be pivotal to ensuring I am able to independently carry out conveyancing transactions.

I am now two-months into the course and will shortly be submitting my first assessment on the English Legal System. Whilst challenging, this has provided me with valuable new-found knowledge and I have enjoyed the structure of learning alongside working. After submission, I will be moving onto the second stage of course, focused around Law of Contract. I am keen to progress, as this will be heavily involved in my day-to-day working in the Residential Property Team and the studies will allow me to further assist my mentor in both purchase and sale transactions.

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