The Law Society has warned that pressing for separate representation in conveyancing could reduce the solicitors’ profession’s market share and hand residential conveyancing to other sectors on a plate.
Law Society chief executive Desmond Hudson said: “If the Solicitors Regulation Authority, rather than the Legal Services Board, were to make separate representation compulsory for solicitors, it would not apply to non-solicitors or any professionals not regulated by the SRA.
“Therefore, lenders not wishing to go down the separate representation route – and our view is that there are likely to be many of these – would turn to other sectors to do their conveyancing. Does the profession really want to hand residential conveyancing work on a plate to their competitors?
“Even if licensed conveyancers and their regulator opted for the separate representation route, there would still be a threat from others who might look at conveyancing in the future, who are neither regulated by the SRA nor the licensed conveyancer equivalent. This is the reality of the Legal Services Act. It has created competition and we, the Society, are looking at how to meet that challenge, not make it harder for our members.”