CML responds to Scottish ‘Sep Rep’

Robyn Hall

August 19, 2013

The consultation proposed a change to the rules in Scotland making separate legal representation mandatory for buyers and their mortgage lenders in property transactions.

The consultation generated 279 responses from individuals and organisations showing that 49% were in favour and 51% against the proposed rule change, suggesting no clear mandate for change.

The CML has previously raised concerns about the rule change, noting that there are clear time and cost efficiency benefits to lender and borrower in shared representation.

Current LSS rules and the CML Lender’s Handbook (standard conveyancing instructions to solicitors) already provide for separate representation in the minority of cases where it is genuinely necessarily (for example if there is a conflict of interest). The CML today said it would like to emphasise its willingness to work with LSS in addressing any concerns regarding the Lenders Handbook, to facilitate any refinements that may be desirable.

The Law Society of Scotland will ask its members to vote on the change at a special general meeting on 3 September 2013.

Kennedy Foster, CML Scotland’s policy consultant, said: “We welcome the LSS’s measured response to their consultation.

“The issue has clearly divided the legal profession in Scotland and we want to engage with the LSS to ensure that lenders, consumers, and solicitors alike are well served by the conveyancing system in Scotland.”

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