Should solicitors copy estate agents into emails about the progress of conveyancing transactions?

Is it appropriate for a solicitor to copy an estate agent or other party into correspondence addressing issues about the progress of a client’s conveyancing transaction?

In the context of a typical residential conveyancing transaction, the sharing of information with other participants in the process – such as estate agents, brokers, lenders, surveyors – can assist in the efficient management of the client’s transaction.

However, care must be taken throughout to avoid any breaches of the duty of confidentiality and other professional obligations owed to the client.

Our Conveyancing Protocol recognises and promotes the sharing of information.

The general obligations set out in the protocol require firms to ensure that ‘all information is shared, subject to any confidentiality obligations that have not been waived’.

At the outset, firms should agree with their clients how information about their transaction will be shared.

Clients should be encouraged not to withhold authority to disclose information unless there are exceptional circumstances.

The obligations only apply so far as permitted by the client.

If the client requires a matter to remain confidential, that must take precedence over the obligation to keep everyone informed.

Disclaimer

While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this article, it does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. The Law Society does not accept any responsibility for liabilities arising as a result of reliance upon the information given.

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