The Law Society has published the latest version of the Code for Completion. It will take effect from 1 May 2019.
The Code for Completion by Post (the Code) has been amended to clarify the position following the Court of Appeal ruling in Dreamvar last year.
Read the new Code and a version of the Code showing what has changed
Read our Dreamvar informative and case summary, which provides context for the new Code
Find out more about the Code's purpose
In the Dreamvar case, the Court of Appeal held that the fraudster seller's solicitor was in breach of the undertaking to the buyer's solicitor implied by the Code, which required the seller's solicitor to use the completion money for a genuine completion.
The changes to the Code make it even clearer that the seller’s solicitor is acting in a genuine sale.
This should provide innocent purchasers with greater protection from fraudsters - which is not only right but should help boost consumer confidence in the conveyancing process.
The Code for Completion focuses on completion of a property transfer. It was developed in order to simplify the completion process where personal completion does not take place.
It avoids the need to negotiate new arrangements for each transaction. If the Code is to be used both buyer and seller’s solicitors must agree to use it.
If they have agreed to use the Law Society Conveyancing Protocol, adoption of the Code is automatic. The Code may be varied by agreement.
Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) members are obliged to use the Code. Using the Code is voluntary for non CQS solicitors.
The Law Society will be hosting a webinar examining the implications of the Dreamvar case and the Code on 18 February. Find out more.
The new Code for Completion will become effective on 1 May 2019, although there is nothing to prevent earlier adoption by agreement.
The purpose of publishing the Code now is to allow firms time to consider the content and implement any changes that may be required.
If you have any queries or comments about the Code, please send these to firstname.lastname@example.org.