Updated Law Society Conveyancing Protocols Released

The 2019 edition of the Law Society Conveyancing Protocol has been released.

The new protocols will highlight the best practice in residential conveyancing, highlighting how solicitors acting on behalf of buyers and sellers of leasehold and freehold properties can best advise their clients.

It is hoped that the Conveyancing Protocol is another important piece of legislation which will standardise the residential conveyancing process, make a more transparent system and improve the home buying and selling experience for the all stakeholders, especially solicitors, lenders and consumers.

The updates have also been lauded as a way of reminding law firms of their obligations to reduce the risk of fraud and increase the efficiency of the home buying and selling process.

The new protocol focuses on the complex changes to stamp duty land tax changes over the past year and how to ensure that any request made HM Land Registry avoids preventable requisitions and returns for further information.

As the conveyancing process increasing becomes digital, a section of the protocol highlights the importance of sending documents via email separately whilst making them clearly identifiable.

The increased risk of transaction fraud is also a huge consideration in the updated protocols with clear steps to protect the law firm and clients embedded within the document.

Following recent criticism concerning properly advising the consumer on types of ownership, the protocols now clearly specify the importance of ensuring the client understands the key differences between leasehold and freehold property ownership before proceeding with the transaction.

Simon Davis, President of the Law Society of England and Wales, commented:

“The protocol is a tool which helps conveyancing solicitors to achieve most effectively the transfer of residential property. It aims to provide consistency across transactions and improve efficiency.

“It has been adapted to ensure continued relevance for practitioners. This includes the new Law Society Code for Completion prepared following the Court of Appeal decision in Dreamvar.

“The Law Society is committed to providing support, advice and guidance to solicitors in all areas of relevant practice, in the best interests of clients and the public.”

Find a copy of the Conveyancing Protocol here.

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