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To Do of Conveyancing

There is no one way in dealing with risks.  It is best to find ways and avoid any risks. 

Conflicts are Everywhere

  • You may be acting for a friend or family member in some matters, put relationship aside and ask yourself:
    • would this affect the matter?
    • can it affect your judgement?
    • is there a direct interest to you/firm?
  • Does your firm have a conflicts checking system?
    • Keep a database of all clients with their details.
    • Run a conflicts check with all (legal and support) staff of the firm.
    • Make sure to include any new staff of your firm in case they had prior dealing with the potential client.
    • When you have taken up the matter, inform the staff members and include it in the client’s database.
  • Obtain a written waiver if you are acting for purchaser and financier.

Communication is Key

  • At the initial meeting with the client, make sure the client understands the job scope that you will be handling for the client.
  • Prepare a retainer letter listing the work scope of your work for the client.
  • Have written confirmation before executing any verbal or third party instructions.
  • Keep your client informed on the progress of the matter at relevant stages.

Checklist in Conveyancing

  • Conduct proper searches on the land:
    • on status of land and whether it is possible to change with the consent of the state government.
    • ownership of land - when taking up the matter and before releasing the monies.
  • Do a caveat to protect the interest of your client.
  • Confirm the ownership of the land and your client.  Run an identity check:
    • identification card;
    • second verification: driving licence, utility bills etc;
    • seek authority, embassy etc.
  • Use Bar Council’s Practice Area Checklist  for Conveyancing.

Verify Identities

  • Request for a second set of identification (ie latest utility bills of the property, driving licence etc) to affirm the identity and/or ownership of the land/property.
  • Make sure relevant parties involved in the S&P Agreement is present and signs the documents in your presence.
  • Do a search with relevant authorities, ie National Department of Registration, foreign embassies.
  • Confirm particulars in the identification produced are the same as in search results.
  • Always have sight of the original identification documents.  Should you receive a temporary identification document, ensure to run proper checks with the relevant authorities.