In January 2013, the Conveyancing Conflicts Task Force Regulation was introduced. This regulation prohibits the same solicitor, or two solicitors from the same firm, from acting for both the seller and the buyer, or transferor and transferee, in property transactions.
We often get asked about the necessity of this from our clients, as it can seem senseless, where for example, a parent is transferring a site to a son or daughter.
The answer is that it is absolutely necessary. Concerns were raised regarding a very small minority of property transfers involving those who are vulnerable. This regulation was introduced to protect people from possible undue influence from relatives or friends in transferring their property e.g. to avoid an elderly person being forced or misled into ‘signing over’ the family home. If there are two solicitors from two separate firms representing each party in the transfer, both are protected and conflict of interest is avoided.
Retaining two separate solicitors can sometimes mean that additional expense is placed on families. If you contact us at John A. Sinnott & Co. Solicitors, we will try to minimise the costs for you.
There is one exception to the total prohibition on solicitors acting for both parties in a conveyancing transaction. A solicitor is still permitted to represent both parties in order for the family home or shared home to be transferred into joint names.
Contact us now to discuss further.