Solicitors, particularly those in smaller practices, are concerned as to the way some mortgage lenders have reduced the size of their conveyancing panels. The Law Society have said that they are being very active in trying to engage with the lenders on this issue in order to try and dissuade them from taking what appears to be rather arbitrary and unfair actions.
The Law Society are to discuss the issue, at the next Council meeting on 14th and 15th December, of whether their professional rules should be changed to prohibit the same solicitor from acting for lender and borrower in the same transaction. With the introduction of Outcomes Focused Regulation in October 2011 this may become a reality anyway, depending upon the final wording of the new Conflict of Interests Rules.
Should such a change happen this could accelerate the consolidation of the conveyancing sector as large firms compete to act for lenders.
Nick Gurney-Champion, Law society Council Member, is seeking the views of Property Section members on this issue so that he can put them forward at the Council meeting.