Transparency regarding referral fees in conveyancing transactions

Monday 3rd December 2018

Referral fees are paid by solicitors and licensed conveyancers to estate agents in exchange for recommending business to them. These aren’t uncommon arrangements and can be considered as a common source of business between law firms and estate agents.

However, according to new research from the specialist property lawyer regulator, the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (The CLC), most home buyers do not know if their conveyancer paid out a referral fee.

In a recent survey that has been conducted in England and Wales, it has been highlighted that referral via an estate agent was the most popular factor behind customers’ choice of conveyancer. However many people who took a recommendation didn’t know whether their conveyancer paid out a referral fee to the estate agents. This ultimately leads to clients being unable to make an informed decision on which solicitor or licensed conveyancer they would like to instruct to act for them in their property transaction.

The aim is to create more transparency surrounding referral fees so clients can make informed decisions as to which solicitor or licensed conveyancer they would like to instruct to represent them in their property transaction, by taking all factors in to account.

At Waldrons, we always inform clients as to whether their property transaction is subject to a referral fee; as highlighted by Sheila Kumar, Chief Executive of the CLC: “…it is important that the client is aware of the payment of referral fees before deciding who to appoint”. If you would like assistance with moving home, and would like to speak to our team, please click here to contact us.

Shantel Dosanjh, Legal Advisor

Waldrons Solicitor