Call to SRA to loosen solicitor conduct rules

first_imgThe Legal Services Consumer Panel has called for the Solicitors Regulation Authority to scrap the conduct provisions that prevent a solicitor from acting for both seller and purchaser, and for both lender and borrower in a conveyancing transaction. Responding to the SRA’s current consultation on its new handbook, which seeks views on the current provisions, the consumer panel said they should be removed, and consumers should instead be protected by the general conflict rule. The panel, which was set up by the Legal Services Board to advise it on the interests of consumers, said there should be safeguards in place to ensure that lawyers understand their responsibilities when acting for both sides, and that they deliver informed consumer choice. However, it noted that allowing one solicitor to act for both sides could ‘minimise inconvenience caused by exchanges of correspondence and reduce avoidable cost’. In its consultation response, the panel said licensed conveyancers had ‘long been permitted to act for both sides, apparently without any problems’.last_img

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