News and Events

Recent Media Attention

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Recent media attention (8/5/14) has brought to light some issues revolving round some Solicitors’ practices’ conduct, regarding the retention of disbursements  within the Conveyancing department.
Disbursements are the charges imposed by third parties such as HMRC and the Land Registry and are payable by the solicitors with monies provided by the client.
This money is ‘Client’ money , held in the Practices Client account and not the Practices money and can’t be used for any other purpose other than to discharge the Clients disbursements.
It would appear that a small number of Practices have been utilising this ‘Client’ money for their own purposes and not discharging the disbursements in good time.
This practice is totally illegal and our governing body the SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority) monitor these breaches closely and should there be any suggestion of this activity going on, then they will act. Past breaches have resulted in Solicitors being struck off the roll and their licence to practice cancelled; some have even gone to prison.
These, we would suggest, are in the minority and reliable, upstanding Solicitors Practices, which are the majority, do strictly observe the rules and discharge their responsibilities seriously and we count ourselves in this bracket.
No business can guarantee their future however all Solicitors are obliged to have PII (Professional Indemnity Insurance) in place to give clients the confidence that there is a fall back position should things go wrong. Buchanan & Co have a £3m cover; many only have £2m.