Karen Middleton, head of conveyancing- Brethertons - East Midlands Regional Conveyancing Firm of 2014

1. Firstly, what is your role?
Manager of the Banbury Conveyancing Team at Brethertons, an 18 partner firm based in Oxfordshire and Warwickshire

2. Why did you choose a career in conveyancing?
I enjoy the fast paced world of Conveyancing and helping clients through one of the most stressful times of their lives.

3. What attracted you to your particular specialism?
The variety of the role. Each case is individual and I am constantly encountering new situations and challenges to overcome which helps me to offer a more thorough and comprehensive service to our clients. I particularly enjoy being able to forge a relationship with clients and feel a real sense of satisfaction when we’ve got them into their dream home.

4. What is the most enjoyable part of your job?
Helping and supporting the team to strive to provide the best service they possibly can and sharing in their successes when they excel in their endeavours, including delivering excellent customer service, achieving and maintaining our accreditations, gaining awards and other recognitions from our peers, colleagues and associates.

5. What particular challenges are you or have you faced in these tougher times?
The conveyancing process has changed considerably over the past few years. Clients understandably expect far more for their money and we are having to build on our services, infrastructure and technology in order to continue to exceed these expectations and deliver good value for money services.

6. What do you think will be growth opportunities for the conveyancing profession over the next couple of years?
Now that the financial crisis is settling and the public’s confidence is growing, there will be a lot of growth opportunities for our profession. In fact, we have seen our own team grow considerably in the last 6 years and now have a larger team than before the crisis. One particular area is technology and social media, which has changed client behaviour for good. Clients are now increasingly using the internet to get information about our conveyancing services in advance of contacting us, even when business has been recommended or perhaps, more importantly, where the conveyancer has been referred. Often LinkedIn and website profiles will be viewed prior to them picking up the phone or sending us an email. There is lots of potential and growth within this area.

7. What’s been your most enjoyable or high profile recent piece of work?
I enjoy the range of transactions that we deal with, from the simple quick sales and purchases to the more complicated transactions. We are currently dealing with a purchase of a flat with a defective lease, an absent landlord and dissolved management company, where the loft conversion is not currently part of the demise. The challenges of rectifying these defects in an efficient, but comprehensive manner, whilst ensuring that the clients are informed and reassured, are extremely rewarding.

8. What inspires you when it comes to your work?
I am inspired to be the best that I can be individually and as part of my team to deliver the best service possible to our clients.

9. Do you work by a particular mantra or motto in your business life?
At Brethertons we value our clients, excellence, each other, personal development and ambition. I continually strive to live these values, rather than simply say them.

10. Can you give one piece of professional advice to your peers?
Communication. It is important to be open and available to speak with clients, colleagues, and other parties to the transactions as we are all working to the same goal and we will achieve this far quicker by working together than against each other.