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Irish Solicitors barred from acting on both sides

Sat, Mar, 2013

The Irish Law Society has agreed to a radical approach to address the problem of conflicts of interest in conveyancing transactions.

The Council of the Law Society of Ireland agreed to adopt the recommendations of the Conveyancing Conflicts Task Force at a meeting on 13 July 2012. The changes are designed to underpin confidence in the conveyancing system in Ireland.

Regulations are now in force that prohibit solicitors acting for both vendor and purchaser in conveyancing transactions (including voluntary transactions), with certain very limited and defined exceptions, with effect from 1 January 2013.

A general ban on acting for both sides already existed in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The new regulation goes further and prohibits a solicitor acting for both a parent and child in the transfer of property in the Republic of Ireland.

Whilst there is a risk that this will increase costs, particularly in family transactions, the change is surely in the best interest of individual clients.

The new rule will also offer significant protection for solicitors themselves