Conveyancer or solicitor??

I very well may cringe at asking this question but here goes.

Talking with a fellow investor recently, we were discussing the costs of legal services for purchases. I used a solicitor where he used a conveyancing firm. While I am not so concerned about the costs, knowing that he uses the conveyancing firm for purchasing development sites, it made me wonder what are the pros and cons of using a solicitor over a conveyancer or vice versa??

Talking with him, he was able to negotiate longer settlement dates, access prior to settlement and other various contract variations. All I have tried to negotiate is access prior to settlement (twice unsuccessfully), which made me think am I and/or the solicitor going about it the wrong way (possibly too softly :eek:), am I not asking the solicitor the correct questions to get everything I could through the process, or is it worthwhile to just use a conveyancer?

(and yes, I realise that 99% of purchases roll along nicely, just for that last one to be a nightmare...)
I use a solicitor, purely because he himself is a developer/investor and gives me great advice.

He also doesn't charge me exhuberant amounts more than a conveyancer.

I suppose a conveyancer deals purely with property transactions so would be better.

FYI I too have tried for early access twice and being denied. Insurance reasons on part of the vendor. I dunno how everyone else seems to get away with it.
I've generally found that conveyancers handle property transfers all day every day and are thus much better and more experienced than solicitors.

You do want a conveyancer who has a close affiliation with a solicitor, often we work with conveyancers who work in a solicitors office. Gives us the best of both worlds.
Many thanks nhg and PT

PT raises a good point. I am pretty sure my work is handled by a conveyancing clerk in the solicitor's office, which is then checked by the solicitor, so I don't think I am paying 100% solicitor rates.

Looking at the company's website my colleague uses, it looks as though this is a purely conveyancing company so I'm not sure what happens if things become sticky.... (and I suppose that's a question I'm posing here - what happens if the conveyancers suddenly say 'I don't have the expertise/qualifications to handle x/y/z'?? Would/could this happen?).

It interested me that he is comfortable enough using a conyancing company for a development project (not to say that's any harder/easier than a residential IP purchase).
Conveyancers transfer title and provide limited legal advice relating to this. They are not as fully trained in the law like solicitors and wouldn't understand other issues that a solicitor may. These may be side issues which pop up such as structure, bankruptcy issues, estate planning - tenants in common v joint tenancy, asset protection, contract disputes, drafting special conditions, GST, corporations act etc etc.

Solicitor every time for me, when it goes wrong you need someone with a good knowledge of the law rather than someone who's licenced to fill in forms