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‘Virtual lawyer’ goes digital achieving work, life balance

‘Virtual lawyer’ goes digital achieving work, life balance
Solicitor Lisa Spinelli: "With three children under five PEXA is fantastic - I can arrange so much from my home office"

Everyone has to make the move to completing matters electronically. In my opinion it is better for us and for clients!

Lisa Spinelli maintains a flexible legal practice by making digital technology work to her advantage. Her story epitomises how a new breed of ‘virtual lawyers’ are successfully combining a home office with family rearing responsibilities.

I worked in private practice firms in both Sydney and Albury in 2003

After completing my law degree in 2003 I worked in private practice firms in both Sydney and Albury. I had a break from work in 2011 and 2012 and had two of my three children. In 2013 I attempted to go back to work one day a week for the firm I had been working for prior to having children, but it was too difficult to manage.

In 2013 I set up working for myself doing mostly conveyancing transactions

I just couldn’t get enough done to make one day worthwhile for myself or an employer. I started to explore the idea of working from home. Then in late 2013 I set up working for myself as a home-based sole practitioner, doing commercial work, but mostly conveyancing transactions.

With three children under five PEXA is fantastic - I can arrange so much from my home office

It means that I can work around looking after my young children (I now have three under five). I am not restricted to being “at work” for set times. My day might consist of dropping kids off at school and preschool, then client meetings, then kids’ activities - maybe music or swimming - then client phone calls and emails, and usually some work after hours on client files.  PEXA is fantastic in that I can arrange so much from my office while settling properties electronically from home.

Best of all clients can promptly access their funds without waiting for bank cheques to clear

I don’t have to attend a bank for a settlement, I don’t have to run around doing banking for clients and submitting stamp duty cheques. Everything happens at the one time and, best of all, clients can access their funds without waiting for bank cheques to clear! (depending on the financial institution that the seller banks with).

I’ve completed property sales and purchases in both NSW and Victoria

To date I’ve completed a number of transactions including property sales and purchases across both NSW and Victoria. The PEXA system is easy to navigate and use as you’re prompted when you need to complete tasks. The creation and signing of documents is so much more straightforward than using paper processes. It’s certainly much quicker than sitting on the phone with banks waiting to book in settlements!

No waiting around at banks and then running around town to bank cheques!

PEXA saves me so much time, both during the transaction and after settlement. To create and sign and stamp the transfer in paper there are many steps. In PEXA the documents are created quickly. The signing and stamping verification process is simple and quick. In relation to settlement – the workspace locks down so you know that settlement is going to go through. You don’t turn up to settlement and face an unexpected issue. Settlement goes through and the money is transferred to relevant parties – all done. No waiting around at banks and then having to go and run around town to bank cheques! And clients don’t have to wait for their money to clear. They can access their money as soon as it hits their account. They also don’t have to spend time signing different things throughout the transaction – they just give you their authority up front.

Digital signing technology allows lawyers and conveyancers to sign clients’ documents

Digital signing technology means lawyers and conveyancers are now able to sign documents on their clients’ behalf in the PEXA System.  Clients love the fact they don’t have to waste time coming to repeated meetings to sign documents, once you have the authorisation to sign for them.

Electronic signing needs to be more widely utilised

I am still seeing a lot of contracts in hard copy. Some practitioners are still sending them in hard copy in the mail – which wastes so much time. Electronic signing needs to be more widely utilised to complement the digitisation of other aspects of a conveyancing transaction undertaken using the PEXA System.

Transacting digitally makes life easier for lawyers and their clients

Everyone has to make the move to completing matters electronically. In my opinion it is better for us and for clients! Transacting digitally makes life easier for lawyers and their clients. It certainly saves both parties time in a conveyancing transaction. I believe that if clients find your office easy to deal with they will enjoy the process and they will let other people know about it.

With PEXA clients benefit from not running around to sign documents

I would ideally like to do all my transactions online, as soon as possible. It just is so much more convenient for me, and I love the fact that clients receive their money straightaway. PEXA will save you time on your matters and clients will benefit from not running around to sign documents. Clients selling property can also access their money almost immediately after a sale matter (depending on the financial institution that the seller banks with).

More Albury-based firms need to embrace electronic transactions. It’s easier than you think and, in the long run, will save you time on your matters.

PEXA has dedicated specialists trained to guide your practice to a digital future. Even better, it's a free service. Get started by emailing helen.eames@pexa.com.au

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