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Breaking News regards TA forms

14th June 2024

BREAKING NEWS - Law Society Protocol Form TA6 5th Edition transition period extended by 6 months.

The Law Society have announced just now, that Material Information and the new 5th edition TA6 will remain and the TA6 4th edition may continue to be used until 15th January 2025, extending the transition period.

The Law Society have received significant feedback from its Property section members, who would prefer a longer transition period than the 3 months initially planned which was due to end on the 25th of June 2024. The longer transition time allows firms to adjust to the changes driven by the updated forms and the Material Information (MI) requirements. 

That’s a Material Information gestation period of 9 months. 

The question that Archie Courage, Managing Director of FormEvo.co.uk, the award-winning Legal Forms Provider asks, “is there is an expression, ‘One cannot be half pregnant’ relevant here?”

Archie goes on to say “Thinking of this 9 month transition period, does it not just extend the period of time Conveyancers can ‘ignore change’ surrounding MI and nothing else. No ‘Material Facts’, dare I use those words,  have changed, so why not just get on and use TA6, 5th edition now?
What if the Sellers’ Solicitor provides the Seller with the TA6, 5th edition and the property is marketed with MI as per Trading Standards direction for Part A, B, C and the Buyers Solicitor is expecting/ preferring (burying the proverbial head in the sand) to use the TA6, 4th edition – then what happens? You cannot unknow what you now know, you cannot be half pregnant! From the Buyers Solicitors point of view.

The Buyers solicitor may well have quoted to the Buyer, their Fees will be X, assuming the 4th edition, and yet the 5th edition raises, more enquiries?

What does one do when Fees should equal X + Y given the increased advice needed to market the property?  The guidance to the Consumer, and I quote, says ‘ask your solicitor’. The answer should result in an increase in the Fee.

Does the Buyers solicitor:

1.            Inform the client that the fees quoted will have to change UP as a result? And will that be accepted?

2.            Take it on the chin as a loss?

3.            Withdraw from providing Conveyancing Services? or

4.            Ignore the MI and attempt to unknow what is now known, by carrying on regardless?

Can the changes to the TA’s be seen as an opportunity?  to provide increased legal services and legal fees?

The new TA6 5th edition is the catalyst to redress the market value for Legal Fees in Conveyancing – it is not a threat, it is an opportunity? It needs ‘a together approach on the minimum fee’ not division in the conveyancing market.
Why doesn’t TLS make a CQS members Fees policy statement, on what a Fee structure for a Sellers solicitor, should look like? And everyone commits to say a start fee of £600. Let us know what you think at FormEvo.co.uk

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