Question ref. S4W-30422
Asked by: Kevin Stewart, Aberdeen Central, Scottish National Party
Date lodged: 8 March 2016
To ask the Scottish Government whether it plans to introduce legislation to close any loopholes in the law regarding fraudulent disposition of title to protect the public.
Current status: Answered by Paul Wheelhouse on 22 March 2016
There is already a Client Protection Fund (the operating name of the Scottish Solicitors’ Guarantee Fund) to protect clients who have lost money because of the dishonesty of a solicitor or a member of their staff.
More details about a consultation carried out by the Law Society of Scotland on the Fund are at http://www.lawscot.org.uk/members/regulation-and-standards/regulation-consultations/.
Following cases in Aberdeen and West Lothian, the society commissioned a report by Sheriff Principal Bowen on consumer protection in conveyancing. This report is at https://www.lawscot.org.uk/media/439009/Law-Society-report-Consumer-Protections-in-Conveyancing-Cases.pdf
Sheriff Principal Bowen made a specific recommendation on the Guarantee Fund in paragraph 42 of his report.
We will continue to discuss with the Law Society of Scotland and others any steps that can be taken to improve the conveyancing process generally and to improve safeguards for the public, including any need for legislation. When considering any legislation, the Scottish Government will need to bear in mind that consumer protection is a reserved matter.