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SRA to improve its law to avoid frauds in conveyancing

Solicitors regulatory authority - SRAThe Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) regulator, after re-examining the draft of supervision and Enforcement Strategy for Conveyancing said that the first draft published in Q2 2011 will be updated soon.

According to SRA, the main focus of the revised draft will be on areas related to the client’s money holdings, the usage of contracts and undertaking, and all other areas which may lead to monetary losses.

One major consideration is to bring amendments to the present conveyancing process, so that the time span that for which the conveyancing company holds the client’s funds will be reduced. This in turn is expected to improve the security of the client’s funds.

The SRA also mentioned that it has visited about 100 conveyancing firms to learn about the different types of risks. The feedbacks and related statistic are being analysed now.

According to Richard Collins, the Executive director of policy in SRA, the research is being conducted to learn the practical difficulties and risk that a conveyancing firm is suffering to make genuine transaction and ensure credibility. “We will aim to identify best practice to guard against risks and reduce the number of firms and clients who fall victim to such scams,” he added.

The latest review also considers a collaboration of SRA’s work with the Land Registry, the law society and the council of mortgage lenders.

David Gilman, the partner in charge of Blacks Connect, which is a broker-focused conveyancing firm, mentioned that there are many firms which look forward for assistance to improve their process and structure so as to avoid scams and fraudulent practices.

He also said, “Solicitor-related fraud is not always related to dishonest lawyers; it’s often the result of organized criminals using solicitors as fronts to commit their fraudulent transaction.”

According to him, these improvement in law doesn’t contradict the requirement of the normal searches and inspections to be conducted on a conveyancing firm by the brokers, before referring that firm to their clients.

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