Conveyancing Portal

Conveyancing Team Spotlight: Richard Querelle


Conveyancing partner Richard Querelle tells us what inspired him to get into the law, how things have changed in the industry over the past two decades, and how he would abolish stamp duty if he could.

What is your job title and experience?

I am the Head of Residential Conveyancing at Russell & Russell, having been a property solicitor for more than 20 years.

What areas of law do you specialise in?

I specialise in residential property transactions.

Why did you decide to work in the legal industry?

My father was a criminal solicitor. I used to shadow him when I was younger and decided this was the future for me.

When and where did you qualify?  

I went to the College of Law in Chester and qualified in 1998.

How long have you been at Russell & Russell?

I have been at Russell & Russell for 8 years.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

Dealing and helping people buy or sell what is usually their largest asset.

What do you find most challenging about your job?

The biggest challenge is the constant changes to regulation and compliance. 

It is absolutely vital to have effective regulation and compliance for the work we do, and the challenge is to ensure all your procedures and systems are up to date. Fortunately, we have a team and support to ensure we do this.

What are the most common sorts of cases you deal with?

I seem to deal with the quirkier transactions where land is involved, for example, a complex legal title, or if the transaction is sensitive for the parties involved.

What are the main challenges facing conveyancers today?

There are so many challenges. However, the two main ones are dealing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance, which is necessary but can be challenging for clients, and finding the right balance of using Artificial Intelligence (AI) in conveyancing transactions.

How has conveyancing changed since you have worked in the industry?

The changes have been enormous. When I first started, everything was done by post. You might have received the odd fax, but even mortgage monies were sent to you by cheque. Whereas now, everything is digital or electronic.

What is the future for legal conveyancing?

If you are willing to embrace change, then the future is bright in conveyancing.

What new law would you introduce if you could?

I would end stamp duty. This duty was created to fund the war against France many centuries ago, and when I last checked, we were at peace with them! On a serious note, the duty does feel punitive for a buyer just buying a house.

What skills do you need to be a successful lawyer?

To be a successful property lawyer, you must have good people skills, patience, empathy, and a good knowledge of the conveyancing process.

What advice would you give someone who wants to become a solicitor or work in the legal industry?

Go into the profession with an open mind, as you may be surprised and like an area of law you never thought you would.

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