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Briefing Note from the Property Lawyers Action Group

2nd July 2024

Surrey Law Society is pleased to share an important briefing note from the Property Lawyers Action Group (PLAG) regarding the upcoming Special General Meeting (SGM) of The Law Society (TLS). The meeting, scheduled for Tuesday 23 July 2024, will consider a vote of no confidence. It is crucial for all interested members to register with TLS by 9am on Monday 15 July to attend either in person or online.

This briefing note provides a detailed overview of the key issues to be discussed at the SGM, particularly focusing on the extension of ‘material information’ (MI) requirements and their implications for solicitors, their staff, and sellers. PLAG’s note includes an executive summary, commentary on the TA6 form, and analysis of the potential increased criminal and civil liabilities for those involved in property transactions.

Key Points from the Briefing Note:

  1. Executive Summary:
    • PLAG argues that the extension of MI by TLS imposes unnecessary liabilities and costs on solicitors, their staff, and sellers.
    • The note challenges the logic of penalising a majority of solicitors and sellers to address issues affecting a small percentage of transactions.
    • Concerns are raised about the drafting and clarity of the TA6 form.
  2. Commentary on MI and the TA6:
    • Criticism of TLS for not consulting its members adequately on the TA6 and MI.
    • Discussion on the influence of the Home Buying and Selling Council (HBSC) and the replication of the BASPI form in the TA6.
    • Concerns about the shift from ‘buyer beware’ to ‘seller aware’ and the potential risks this poses.
  3. Risks and Liabilities:
    • Detailed analysis of the increased criminal and civil liabilities for solicitors, staff, and sellers due to the new MI requirements.
    • Issues with the binary nature of answers in the TA6 form and the lack of protective measures.
  4. Conclusion:
    • PLAG expresses a lack of trust in TLS’s ability to represent the interests of conveyancers, leading to the call for a vote of no confidence.
    • Emphasis on the need for the Property Information Form to remain independent from MI influences intended for estate agents.

We encourage all members to read the full briefing note to understand the depth of the issues and the implications for the profession. The complete document is available at the following link: Special General Meeting of The Law Society – Briefing Note.

To view more information on The Law Society’s response to the Requisition calling for the SGM, please visit https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/contact-or-visit-us/press-office/press-releases/law-society-announces-special-general-meeting.

Your feedback and engagement on these critical issues are vital. Please review the documents and consider its implications for your practice. Should you have any questions or wish to discuss the contents further, do not hesitate to contact us.