Equivalence assessment framework

The Law Society provides a range of forms and precedents for our members to use.

These forms help practitioners in their day-to-day work in areas such as conveyancing, risk and compliance, client care, and anti-money laundering.

Equivalent forms can be used as an alternative to Law Society forms.

See our list of equivalent forms

This page is for third parties who’d like to publish their own forms which achieve the same results as our forms.

Which forms can become equivalent

We’ll update this list of practice areas that may feature equivalent forms from time to time, to reflect the decisions of our assessors.

The Law Society conveyancing forms are relevant to different types of conveyancing transactions and are used during the different stages of the conveyancing process (such as leasehold, new homes, commonhold, fittings and contents, and completion arrangements and other areas).

Transaction forms

The Law Society Transaction (TA) forms aim to:

  • capture key information about the property that is the subject of a transaction
  • protect consumers and practitioners, by making sure that the right enquiries are made during the home-buying process
  • save time by providing a consistent, agreed process for members

The forms are:

  • sector-recognised documents, used in most residential property purchase transactions in England and Wales
  • updated regularly to reflect changes to legislation and policy
  • available through a network of licensees, some of which are providers of case management systems (CMS)

Most of the forms are available in electronic format.

The TA forms are recommended for use as “best practice” by the Conveyancing Protocol. Following the protocol is a requirement for members of our Conveyancing Quality Scheme.

Getting your form approved as equivalent

In order to qualify as “equivalent” to a Law Society form, third-party forms must meet the criteria in our equivalence assessment framework (PDF 176 KB) and pass an independent assessment.

The process has three main stages, followed by opportunities to appeal and/or resubmit material.

Before applying

  1. Prepare a copy of the form you’re submitting as equivalent
  2. Review our guidance for applicants (PDF 166 KB) to make sure you meet the assessment criteria (PDF 175 KB)
  3. Complete the application form (PDF 225 KB) and use this to provide any extra information

How to apply

Email your application to property@lawsociety.org.uk.

This should include your:

  • submitted form
  • completed application form
  • any accompanying guidance notes or materials to show how end-users will fill in your submitted form

You’ll also need to pay a fee of £250 plus VAT before the assessment can begin.

We’ll aim to submit the form to an independent assessor within five working days of receiving your complete application and payment.

An independent assessor will review the application, based on the criteria in the equivalence assessment framework. They’ll consider whether the submitted form:

  • achieves the same information as the Law Society form
  • is accessible and easy for the end-user to understand
  • is appropriately managed
  • is materially different from the Law Society form

There is a 28-day window for assessment. You may be asked to give further information at this stage.

We’ll notify you of the assessment outcome, usually within five days of when we receive a decision from the assessor.

If the form(s) has passed the equivalence assessment, the form(s) will be authorised by the Law Society as equivalent to our relevant form, and will be listed on our website.

If you wish to challenge the outcome, you can appeal within 28 days of the assessor’s original decision.

You’ll need to pay an appeal fee of £250 plus VAT.

If your appeal is successful, we’ll refund the appeal fee.

All appeals will be dealt with by the same assessor to guarantee a consistent approach.

We’ll review appeals within five working days of receipt, if we’ve received all documentation and the fee has been paid (otherwise within five days from receipt of last document or payment, whichever is latest).

If you wish to resubmit any material, you can amend your application at any time following the assessor’s decision.

Resubmissions must:

  • use the application form, highlighting any changes that have been made (either in tracked changes or in a covering letter)
  • respond to the assessor’s feedback

You’ll need to pay a re-assessment fee of £250 plus VAT.

We’ll review resubmissions within five working days of receipt, as long as we’ve received all documentation and the fee has been paid (otherwise within five days from receipt of last document or payment, whichever is latest).

Complying with our assessment framework and terms

Applicants are responsible for making sure they fully understand and comply with our requirements for equivalence assessment.

For a full list of obligations, read the guidance and the terms in the application form which cover:

  • approvals
  • reassessment and appeals
  • how long equivalence lasts
  • updates to approved forms
  • data protection and intellectual property

To see the principles the assessor will use to evaluate your form, read the assessment criteria.

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