Following a tender last April for the development of a digital conveyancing portal, The Law Society of Scotland has formed a partnership with the Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre (ESPC) and BDP Estate Agency Software.

The online system, Altis, which is due to go live this spring, aims to speed up the Scottish conveyancing process as well as provide a secure and transparent environment to store all the information relating to clients and their properties.

Altis will enable solicitors to exchange and sign off contracts online, and Lorna Jack, chief executive of the Law Society, said: “We can see huge potential benefits in having an e-conveyancing platform and we know there is appetite for this among the profession. Recent legislation allowing solicitors to use electronic signatures on documents alongside the rollout of the Law Society digital Smartcard, which all solicitors will have in the next few months, means there is an opportunity to introduce an online service which will help to speed up conveyancing processes as well as providing an accurate and fully accountable system, benefitting both solicitors and their clients.

“We launched an open tender process in April last year to source a suitable product that would meet the needs of property solicitors and I am delighted to announce our partnership with Altis. We are looking forward to working with them in the final development stages of this new service for our membership.”

Paul Hilton, ESPC chief executive, said: “Altis is different to other e-conveyancing platforms. It has been developed with Scottish conveyancers and we have a working platform that is ready to launch throughout Scotland in spring this year. The feedback so far from solicitors testing the platform, along with input from other key stakeholders including Registers of Scotland and the Council of Mortgage Lenders has been excellent. This thorough testing has allowed Altis to create a product and service that meets the needs of conveyancers all over Scotland.

“The system we have created offers an unrivalled level of capability. Not only has it been carefully designed to be user friendly, it has the ability to greatly improve risk management, assuring all parties of a secure and supported experience.”

The launch of Altis follows the demise in the UK of Veyo, the Law Society of England and Wales’ online conveyancing portal, which was shelved with over £7m of costs after the launch of Free2Convey by Legal Software Suppliers Association.