Newport-based Harding Evans has become the first law firm in Wales to launch its own bespoke conveyancing app for property buyers, vendors and estate agents in the residential property market.

A recent report by the Solicitors Regulation Authority found that, over the last five years, conveyancing has generated the most consumer complaints to the Legal Ombudsman, and the number of complaints is increasing.

In 2015-16, residential conveyancing made up 22 per cent of all complaints resolved, and in 2016/17 it accounted for 24 per cent.

The survey found some of the most common reasons for complaining included delays in the process and lack of information.

Spotting an opportunity to address consumer concerns, Harding Evans has introduced its own app.

Offering a 24/7, on demand service, the app allows clients to access key documents and information on their transaction and check for updates on progress at any time. This includes any urgent information, allowing clients and other parties to spot and deal with any potential issues before they arise.

The conveyancing app, which has been developed exclusively by Harding Evans’ in house software development team, is the first of a series aimed at introducing a faster, more efficient service for its clients.

Future app development will concentrate on wills and probate, as well as some of the firm’s commercial services.

Wyn Williams, partner and head of conveyancing at Harding Evans Solicitors, which is based in Baneswell near Newport city centre, said: “As anyone who has been involved in the sale or purchase of a residential property will know, there are times during the process where you get very few updates.

"This is usually because work is going on behind the scenes and isn’t a cause for concern, but the lack of communication can be worrying and clients understandably want to keep up to date on their case.

“Our clients increasingly expect a more efficient, accessible service. This app is aimed at making the conveyancing process more transparent, and saving our client the time and expense of checking in directly with their solicitor, by keeping all parties ‘in the loop’ at all times.”

Joy Phillips, chief executive of Harding Evans, said: “We’re always looking to develop the way we work and, in an age where you can check anything from your emails to your bank balance on your smart phone, we believe this is the next step in improving legal services for our clients across Wales and the wider UK.

“The fact that we have the in-house expertise to develop a product that meets both the needs of our clients and our business allows us to continuously improve our offering.”