Can a Solicitor Act For Me in Both My Sale and My Purchase?
Yes, of course!
However, it is more complicated where two parties ask the same solicitor to act on their behalf, when one of those parties is the buyer and the other party is the seller of the same property.
What is a Conflict of Interest Situation?
It’s where a solicitor is acting for two parties who have conflicting interests.
When Would This Apply, And Maybe be a Problem, in a Property Sale or Purchase?
A good example of this would be where a solicitor is asked to act for the seller and the buyer of the same property.
One of these parties wants to get the lowest price and the other wants to get the highest price.
In cases like this, Law Society of Scotland Rules prevent a solicitor from acting for parties on opposite sides of the transaction. However, there are exceptions and, in some circumstances, the solicitor may be able to act for both parties. This might apply where the solicitor makes the parties aware of the potential conflict of interest, the parties explicitly provide consent for the solicitor to act for both of them and the solicitor is satisfied that no conflict exists in the individual circumstances of the case.
This may be the case, for example, where a parent is transferring ownership of a property to a child.
If you have any questions about whether a conflict of interest may apply to your own case, please get in touch with us and our in-house conveyancing team will be delighted to provide guidance on this issue.