Conveyancing solicitors acting for both sides must report crucial details to lenders, appeal judges rule
Solicitors acting for both sides in property transactions are under a duty to disclose crucial details to lenders, the Court of Appeal has ruled. They are not expected to act as a “detective or bloodhound”, but should report adverse “non-confidential information”.
Free2Convey, the free conveyancing portal developed by the Legal Software Suppliers Association, is to be available “in the next few weeks”, it has emerged. Julian Bryan, managing partner of Quill Pinpoint, said it would be ready before Veyo.
Separate representation for lenders and borrowers in conveyancing transactions “should be the norm”, a senior manager at insurer Zurich has said. Michael Blüthner Speight described the increased cost would be “minimal”.
Veyo is still being tested and there is no fixed date for its national launch, the president of the Law Society told property lawyers last week. Jonathan Smithers admitted that “clearly the publicity ran well ahead of the product”.
Some 60% of conveyancing firms refuse to give fee quotes over the phone and, whether they do or not, the majority then fail to follow-up with their prospective client, ‘mystery shopper’ research has revealed.
A free version of conveyancing portal Veyo, called Free2Convey, is to be launched by the Legal Software Suppliers Association (LSSA) at the end of this month. Matt Lancaster, chair of the LSSA, said he hoped as many law firms as possible would use it.
The top five conveyancing firms handled 10% more transactions in the second quarter of this year than in the same quarter the previous year, research has shown. However, the bottom half of the top 100 have showed the fastest growth over the past four years.
Des Hudson, former chief executive of the Law Society, has left his post as chair of conveyancing portal Veyo, it has been announced. His replacement, Ian Gray, is a ‘turnaround management’ specialist.
Fairpoint Group has bought volume personal injury and conveyancing firm Colemans-ctts for £9m, plus a further £7m, linked to performance. The purchase brings Fairpoint’s income from consumer legal services to 62%.
Richard Barnett, former chair of the Law Society’s land law and conveyancing committee, has told Legal Futures that he is “very surprised” at the decision by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) earlier this week that he should be struck off.