The Law Society has brought in a new protocol for conveyancing, replacing the previous version that had been in place for eight years.
The changes, which came into force on 19 August 2019, follow updates earlier this year that saw revisions in the Conveyancing Quality Scheme. There are updates throughout, with some of the biggest changes including new core practice management standards for the Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS), transparency rules for the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), and revisions to the code for those completing by post.
Practising conveyancers have given largely positive responses to the changes, such as the number of required steps being reduced, although it remains clear that there has been no reduction in members’ obligations. Conveyancers must still be very clear on their obligations. The new changes and improvements will improve efficiency; at the same time, it is expected that they will reduce the risk of fraud.
The changes have come about from a need to update and modernise and an increasing ability to use digital technology throughout the conveyancing process to improve time and efficiency; however, the president of the Law Society for England and Wales, Simon Davies, noted that the increased use of digitisation brings with it an increased risk of fraud.
He also acknowledged that the updates aim to offer consistency across the service so that all transfers of residential property are handled the same. The Law Society will continue to review policy to ensure it remains relevant for practising conveyancers, including the new code for completion for transactions conducted by post. This new code has come about as a result of the Court of Appeal decision in the well-publicised case of Dreamvar (2018) EWA Civ 1082. Fraudsters posed as sellers of a £1m+ property in London and a genuine buyer went ahead with the purchase. The ‘sellers’ solicitors were found to be liable because they had not completed all the necessary checks.
The Law Society has more information on the new protocol that will affect conveyancing solicitors London and nationwide. If you would prefer to speak to someone, professionals such as Sam Conveyancing https://www.samconveyancing.co.uk/Conveyancing-Solicitors/Conveyancing-Solicitors-London will be happy to help.
The overarching goal of this new code is to keep the best interests of the public as the focus for transactions.