A controversial land deeds bill should be phased in over a 15-year period and not brought in overnight, it has been proposed. The U-turn follows strong opposition from the legal sector to the initial proposal for a 'midnight conversion'. The Land Titles Bill seeks to simplify the existing 150-year-old practice of going through old deeds to ascertain the rightful owner of a piece of property during a transaction. Instead, it proposes a system whereby the legal owners of a property are registered at the Land Registry. The bill was to have been tabled to Legco in March but has been delayed. In a government document to be tabled at a meeting of the Legco panel on planning, lands and works on November 11, the Government has proposed a 'gradual process over 15 years'. The legal sector is being consulted and the bill is expected to be introduced to Legco in the 2000-01 legislative session, the document says.