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The Law Society Conveyancing Protocol is sometimes referred to as the National Conveyancing Protocol. In essence, the Protocol is a set of steps for a conveyancing solicitor to follow when acting in the sale and/or purchase of a residential property for an owner-occupier.
First issued in 1990 under the brand name Transaction, the Protocol’s aim was to standardise the conveyancing process. However, the procedures it contained were nothing new or radical. Instead, they broadly reflected existing ‘standard’ procedures. In 2011, the Protocol was further updated and rebranded The Law Society Conveyancing Protocol.
The Protocol is based on best practice and takes into account a variety of considerations including, but not limited to:
- courtesy and openness when dealing with third parties.
- establishing a client’s identity.
- the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds Regulations 2017.
Aims of the Law Society Conveyancing Protocol
While the Protocol regularises the relationship between the solicitors acting for the buyer and seller, it does not affect dealings with third parties such as mortgage lenders and estate agents.
Adopting the protocol helps to:
- standardise the conveyancing process.
- make conveyancing more efficient and transparent.
- improve the experience for everyone involved in the conveyancing process.
However, the Protocol is not intended to be a simple checklist, and its steps are certainly not exhaustive. They can be completed in a different order or even simultaneously.
The Protocol assumes that:
- both the buyer and seller have a mortgage.
- the solicitor acts for the mortgage lender as well as the client.
Does the Protocol cover all transactions?
The protocol is intended to be used in transactions of residential freehold and leasehold property. Importantly, however, it is not designed for use in the purchase of new build homes.