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Conveyancing protocol updated to reflect Dreamvar and other developments

For Sale Sign house Print publication

02/09/2019

Last year we published a briefing on the Dreamvar case, which had significant legal and practical implications for buyers’ and sellers’ conveyancing solicitors. In April 2019, Walker Morris reported on the Law Society’s new Code for Completion by Post. The Law Society has now updated its conveyancing protocol to reflect the Dreamvar decision, the Code for Completion by Post, leasehold reforms and the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority’s transparency rules.

The new protocol came into force on 19 August 2019 and makes a number of important changes, including (non-exhaustively):

  • a reduction/simplification of some of the key stages of the conveyancing process
  • more stringent obligations on sellers’ solicitors in respect of the provision of client care and fee information
  • increased obligations on sellers’ solicitors to make clients aware of fraud risks, and advice to sellers’ solicitors to beware how bank details are submitted
  • increased obligations on buyers’ solicitors in respect of the explanation and quantification of disbursements
  • more stringent obligations on buyers’ solicitors obtaining undertakings from sellers’ solicitors in respect of completion in accordance with the new Code for Completion by Post
  • practical instructions for the provision of contract bundles via e-mail
  • new instructions for buyers’ solicitors only to raise specific enquiries that are relevant to the title or are required to clarify issues arising from submitted documents (as opposed to the indiscriminate use of standard additional enquiries)
  • on leasehold property, a new obligation on buyers’ solicitors to make sure the client is aware of the difference between freehold and leasehold.

The new protocol, and related guidance, resources and additional information, can be accessed here.

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