Law Society of Scotland to debate seperate representation

A special general meeting of the Law Society of Scotland later this month will see lawyer’s debate proposals for mandatory separate legal representation for home buyers and lenders.

Earlier this year solicitors voted for the principle of changing the current practice rule whereby a solicitor can represent both the buyer and the lender.

They also agreed that the Law Society should bring forward a specific change to the solicitor practice rules to require mandatory separate representation (“sep rep”) in all conveyancing transactions.

Following a consultation period a draft rule change will now be brought to the society’s SGM on Monday 23 September.

As we reported previously, this consultation revealed that opinions were highly divided on the subject with 49% in favour and 51% against the proposed change.

Scottish solicitors will also be asked if the rule change should now go to the Law Society’s Regulatory Committee, which must formally approve such a rule change, for further consideration.

Law Society president Bruce Beveridge said: “The discussions we have had with members and the responses to our consultation have revealed the strength of feeling within the profession, whether they are for or against the proposed rule change, and have highlighted the sensitivities and complexities of such a proposed change.

“That’s why it’s so important at this stage that our members make sure they continue to be part of the debate and ensure they have their say at this year’s SGM.”

The Regulatory Committee will consider the outcome of the SGM vote in addition to other factors highlighted during the consultation period and SGM debate before making a final decision.

If Scotland do opt for sep rep what will this mean for England and Wales?

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