“If you don’t get involved in this, you are going to be left behind, because it’s going to happen anyway,” he continued.
“If you resist the change, it will be done to you,” he said, pointing to the taxi industry which stood still as its business model was disrupted by ride-sharing platforms such as Uber.
“That’s how fast the world is evolving. If I were an Irish solicitor, I would really be getting my firm and organisation skilled-up in some of the fundamental changes.
“There’s no point in having the quill and the paper.”
Digital platforms benefit society, are more efficient and effective,and are how millennials operate, he continued.
Numerous stakeholders must get involved, such as those with consumer lens and a digital lens, to have a successful transformation.
Larry Fenelon of Leman said that e-conveyancing has been a topic of conversation in Ireland for over a decade, without definitive progress.
Pro-digital Government policies are key, Glenn King responded.
He said senior civil servants, as well as banks, must embrace transformation, with the goal of benefiting the consumer.
Legal practitioners should have their say, and not be passive recipients of change, King continued.
Early adopters in the law will reap marketing benefits in how they serve their clients, and will also become more attractive to talented employees.
“To get the best people you want to be an organisation that’s moving pretty fast,” he said.
“You don’t want to be the old staid organisation that is left behind, and we’ve seen that before in other sectors.”
Digital tools will reduce fraud, reduce paper and reduce re-work and red tape, as well as driving efficiency, he said.
Legal practitioners should also see the opportunity to take a leadership role, he said.
PEXA has shaken up property exchanges in Australia’s $7 trillion residential property market, and crunches more than 20,000 residential and investment transactions each week, with plans to expand into commercial property.
King met resistance from many lawyers, who wanted to continue using paper transactions.
In March, South Australia was still using paper transactions, and was not mandated for e-conveyancing, with only 11% using the online platform.
When COVID and physical distancing hit, the environment led to rapid take-up of e-conveyancing, which now stands at 95%.
“We were able to get the relevant conveyances and lawyers on to the platform quite fast and the banks were already using it nationwide,” King explained.
The legal fraternity was trained in the platform using remote learning digital tools.
A public-private partnership, PEXA revenue is gleaned from tiny fractions of the transaction fees, with regulated pricing in line with the consumer price index.
“Technology has fundamentally changed, even to what it was six years ago, so it’s even more cost-effective now to get a similar type of e-conveyancing platform up,” said King.