Professional practice updates 2013

Professional practice updates November 2013

New conveyancing panel management solution

Changes to Combined Standard Clauses

Land Registration Act consultation

New conveyancing panel management solution

We have recently been advised by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) about a new conveyancing panel management solution facilitated by a company called Decision First. Decision First will provide a "gateway" between solicitors and banks for the purpose of panel management. The objective is to help lenders to streamline the panel management application process for the benefit of both solicitors and lenders. The Decision First scheme could also operate in England and Wales although it is opposed by the Law Society of England and Wales. According to the CML, Decision First plans to roll out the scheme in Scotland in early 2014. For full details of the scheme, please read this letter from the CML Director General Paul Smee to the Society's Chief Executive Lorna Jack dated 18 October 2013.

We are concerned that Decision First wants to charge solicitors to process information about themselves and their firms so that they can remain on lender panels. This is despite the Society already holding that information about solicitors and being prepared to provide this information to the CML which would save our members having to process this material again and prevent them from having to pay the fee to Decision First.

Please tell us what you think of the Decision First conveyancing panel management solution by completing the brief online survey by 5pm on Friday 13 December 2013. Your response will ensure we can raise concerns with the CML when we meet with them about this issue in the near future.


Changes to Combined Standard Clauses

The Glasgow and Edinburgh Conveyancers' Forum have agreed the third edition of the Combined Standard Clauses for residential conveyancing transactions. The new Combined Standard Clauses are effective from 1 November 2013.

A copy of the new Combined Standard Clauses can be found here.

The changes represented by the update are relatively minor in their effect.  The Combined Standard Clauses no longer refer to automated registration of title to land (ARTL) or to what was the Edinburgh windows policy, and reference is now made to the new Green Deal initiative.


Land Registration Act consultation

Call to practitioners to respond to the Keeper's Consultation on the Implementation of the Land Registration etc. (Scotland) Act 2012

As the first substantial legislative revisal since the introduction of land registration by the Land Registration (Scotland) Act 1979, the Land Registration etc. (Scotland) Act 2012 ("the Act") intends primarily to lend statutory strength to much of the Keeper's current practice.  It also, however, introduces a number of substantial changes including the introduction of a criminal offence. We encourage solicitors to familiarise themselves with the impending changes as early as they can.

Registers of Scotland (RoS) is currently considering what the regulations that will underpin the Act will look like and this is your chance to inform that process. RoS has published its consultation paper on the implementation of the Act.

The Society's Property Law Committee will submit a response to the consultation and both RoS and the Property Law Committee strongly encourage practitioners to submit their own responses to the questions posed in the consultation.

The deadline for submission of responses to RoS is 9 December 2013. If you would also like to share your consultation response with the Society, please send it to professionalpractice@lawscot.org.uk.