Snap poll shows support for vote of no confidence

A snap poll run by Today’s Conveyancer suggests sentiment toward The Law Society is low amongst conveyancers. 90% of respondents to a LinkedIn poll said they would ‘support proposals to call for a vote of no confidence in the Law Society.’

Last week calls by The Property Lawyers Action Group (PLAG) for a vote of no confidence in the Law Society CEO Ian Jeffery, and President Nick Emmerson garnered the 100 votes needed to submit a request for a Special General Meeting (SGM) of The Law Society in under 24 hours; the first time in more than 13 years when criminal legal aid lawyers forced an SGM for a vote of no confidence in then-Chief Executive Des Hudson.

Surrey Law Society threw its weight behind the campaign with President Dawn Lawson expressing concern for SLS members who might face increased costs, rising insurance premiums, and further strain on professionals trying to do a good job for their clients day in day out.

The furore has erupted over the lack of consultation around the implementation of updated TA6 Property Information Forms which incorporate a number of additional questions for vendors covering up front and material information. The forms have been updated in line with guidance by National Trading Standard Estate and Letting Agents Team (NTSELAT) on property professionals’ obligation under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs).

Comments published on Today’s Conveyancer convey the strength of feeling toward The Law Society. ‘Andrew’ wrote

“I do not think that there is any argument from anyone that the process needs to be updated and improved to benefit everyone; conveyancers, solicitors, agents, brokers, buyers, sellers, lenders and the like. The biggest problem we have is the way the Law Society have gone about it. The statements they have put out smack of arrogance and there has been a lack of transparency, consultation and guidance. The Law Society are trying to change the fundamentals of Conveyancing without seeking to engage. There is seemingly a lack of understanding of the work Conveyancers do and the risks undertaken and how those are to be mitigated. I think a lot more people would have been receptive to the changes that are needed had the Law Society gone about them in a different manner. From what I can see, the Law Society are doubling down on this which is why the vote of no confidence was called. Serious, genuine and thought-out concerns from those people who actually do the work have been seemingly, completely ignored. If the Law Society wishes to behave is this manner, we won’t have Conveyancers available to do the work. A lot of very good Conveyancers left after the 2008 crash and retired/gave up post covid that have not been replaced, lets not make it worse.”

Arthur Robinson of Emmersons Solicitors adds

For me, the issue is the total lack of consultation and the lack of transparency. Who sits on the “working group”? Why aren’t they named? Who represented The Law Society and Conveyancers when the NTSLEAT created MI guidance?

Beyond that, The Law Society and the Conveyancing and Land Law Committee have been MIA and allowed the Conveyancing Association to fill the space. Conveyancers have been abandoned.

A LinkedIn poll hosted on the Today’s Conveyancer Company Page asked the question ‘Does the Today’s Conveyancer readership support proposals to call for a vote of no confidence in the Law Society’ with 90% of nearly 200 respondents saying they would support the proposals.

In response to the call for a vote of no confidence, The Law Society put out the following statement

“It is disappointing that PLAG has felt it necessary to take this step. The transformation of the home buying and selling process is both inevitable and ongoing in our digital age and it is our goal to support the profession to take a leading role in shaping these longer-term changes.

“While solicitors play a very important role in the conveyancing process, the changes are ultimately about making that experience easier and better for buyers and sellers. Should 100 members support the call for a Special General Meeting (SGM) we will of course hold one as our constitution requires.

“Our focus however remains on supporting conveyancing solicitors and their firms with the transition to using the new TA6 forms and we have developed a range of resources to assist.”

One Response

  1. Setting aside the TA6, out of interest, which of the items listed by NTSELAT does anyone think a buyer or their lender would not want to know?

    1. Council Tax / Domestic Rates
    2. Asking price
    3. Tenure*
    4. Property type
    5. Property construction
    6. Number and types of room
    7. Type of Electricity supply
    8. Private Water supply
    9. Private Sewerage
    10. Type of Heating
    11. Type of access to Broadband
    12. Availabtility of Mobile signal/coverage
    13. Parking restrictions/cost
    14. Building safety
    15. Restrictions
    16. Rights and easements
    17. Flooding in last 5 years
    18. Coastal erosion risk
    19. Planning permission
    20. Accessibility/adaptations
    21. Coalfield or mining area

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