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Dual representation on the agenda for the Law Society

The Law Society Gazette this week reported that the Department for Communities and Local Government is to decide whether both buyers and sellers can retain the same conveyancing solicitor in the same transaction.

“The Government is clearly concerned about what it considers to be a ‘broken housing market’ and is looking at ways to improve the whole conveyancing process, so as to give customers a better service and better value for their money. They have obviously picked up on the point that if both parties are represented by one firm then this should speed up and make the process more transparent to the client, which is clearly what clients want. We, as licensed conveyancers and recognised property experts, have been able to represent both parties in the same transaction for many years now, and can confirm that when we act for both seller and buyer, the timescale to completion is much shorter and issues that crop up are dealt with quickly, with neither lawyer blaming the other for the delay. However, to do this you must have certain internal safeguards in place and be set up properly, so as to avoid conflicts of interest arising”, says Kathryn Doogue, Director at Kirkham Legal.

Research supporting this development disclosed that nearly half the people who bought a home in the past 2 years blamed the seller’s solicitors for delays, whilst 58% of sellers blamed the buyer’s solicitors. Kathryn added – “This situation simply does not happen when we act for both parties – the transaction proceeds as quickly as it possibly can, with no room for excuses”.

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