The law society conveyancing protocol was created to ease and speed up conveyancing of residential properties. It brings structure into conveyancing and alleviates miscommunication among parties to the conveyance. The first protocol was introduced in 1990. This protocol was later revised in 2004. The first protocol was designed in a linear form. The newer version is in tabular form. Conveyancing Protocol is used by members of the Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS). CQS is an arm of the Law Society of United Kingdom.
The protocol lays down steps and procedures of conveyancing. The idea behind the protocol is to enable solicitors to work in tandem when offering conveyance services. The protocol allows a solicitor to easily pick up the work or another solicitor who is currently not working for a client. It is a checklist that enables solicitors to tick off every step of the conveyance that they have gone through.
Because conveyancing is never a clear-cut process, solicitors are allowed to make appropriate changes to the protocol. They can also drop it altogether when they feel that it is not meeting their purpose. In fact, solicitors can choose not to use the protocol entirely. Use of the protocol is not legally binding. Solicitors must agree whether to use the protocol before embarking on conveyance.
The protocol can be seen as one of the many tools that the Law Society of the United Kingdom uses to ensure that solicitors work to the best interest of their clients. Other tools include the “Solicitors Handbook” and the “Code of Conduct”. A protocol can be used to compensate a solicitor, buyer or seller who has been disadvantaged by the action other parties to conveyance.
The protocol is not perfect. Many solicitors have spotted several loopholes in the protocol. The Law Society of the United Kingdom has regularly modified the protocol since its establishment in 1990. The first significant changes were made in 2004. Procedures and guidelines were substantially modified. The Law Society also changed the format of the protocol. Further changes were made in 2007 to accommodate changes in Home Information Packs. The changes made in 2007 were rendered obsolete 2010 when the government altered the use of Home Information Packs.
The protocol is organised into a solid structure. Each section of the structure serves a particular purpose. The first section contains the principles that govern conveyance. These are the general obligations of the solicitors to their clients and each other. Solicitors are expected to disclose all matters relating to conveyance to their clients. The clients must know the manner in which the conveyance process will take place. They are assured that the solicitors will act fairly and that no aspect of the transaction will be hidden from them.
The solicitors must also inform their clients how they will be communicating during conveyance. Proper channels of communication are established at the beginning of conveyance. The clients must be able to access whatever mode of communication that is used in conveyance. The mode of communication must be accessible to all parties to the transaction, but be private enough to ensure that security of the parties is upheld.