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How to protect yourself as a Conveyancing Solicitor

by Paul Addison on April 28, 2022 No comments

The Conveyancing sector receives 23% of all legal complaints, making them the most likely Solicitors in all legal areas to be sued.  With this statistic having risen by over 5% in the last decade, and rules and regulations within the industry becoming increasingly unclear, there has never been a more important time to do all you can to prevent a negligence claim.

Although Professional Indemnity insurance should cover any costs you incur from a negligence claim, no amount of insurance can protect you from the potential damage to your hard-earned reputation, or the months of stress that a negligence claim can cause. With a client able to sue a Conveyancing Solicitor up to six years after the alleged negligence, the constant unease and unrest that many solicitors experience can take its toll.

However, DevAssist are able to lighten this worry through our property report audits of potential development risks within the surrounding area. There are currently over two dozen areas of negligence that could be grounds for a claim to be opened, including:

  • Loss caused to the client due to poor advice about the property
  • A failure to conduct appropriate property enquiries and searches
  • A failure to provide sufficient advice regarding a property survey

The difficulty with these points is that they are all subjective – it is not clear as to what is considered ‘poor advice’, ‘appropriate property searches’  or ‘sufficient advice regarding a property survey’. In addition, The Council for Licensed Conveyancers advise that Solicitors conduct ‘reasonable checks’ to the property, providing no more clarification to the ambiguous nature of the regulations, thus also deeming this subjective. 

Furthermore, Conveyancing Solicitors have a double the threat of being sued as they also represent the mortgage lender of the client, meaning if the mortgage lender incurs loss as a result of issues with the property that weren’t brought to the appropriate individual’s attention, the Solicitor could face negligence claims from both parties.

With all of the above in mind, it is clear to see why Conveyancing Solicitors receive the highest amount of negligence claims compared to all other legal industries. So how could you minimise this?

DevAssist reports are another layer of protection. Should a claim arise, these reports greatly improve the supporting evidence to show that you had gone above and beyond for your client. We offer four different DevAssist reports depending on the size and location of the property. From just £100, your client will receive a comprehensive audit of potential development risks in the surrounding area, with a final ‘risk category’ for the property. Within the last decade, we have seen the amount of reports we categorise as ‘high risk’ rise from 10% to 33%, so why not suggest DevAssist to protect your clients, and to protect you?

Find out more about our reports here, or call us on 01342 890010 and our friendly team will be happy to answer any queries you may have.

Paul AddisonHow to protect yourself as a Conveyancing Solicitor