RM Napier’s impression that the idea of the conveyancing protocol was, ‘among other things, to get rid of standard supplementary preliminary enquiries, save when these were very transaction-specific’ (letters, 23 February) is entirely correct.
However, I’m finding that more sellers’ solicitors, seeking protection under the generic ‘umbrella’ of the protocol argument, are refusing to reply to case-specific additional enquiries. These enquiries cannot be ‘incorporated into the standard property enquiries form’, as Mr Napier suggests, since each case turns on its own merits and safeguarding our individual clients cannot necessarily be boxed into standardisation.
In acting for a buyer, we would not be acting in that client’s best interests, which is a central tenet of the Code of Conduct, if we did not raise such matters. There needs to be some further professional guidance under the protocol to ensure that buyers’ conveyancers do not have to struggle to comply with the outcomes-focused requirements of the code in endeavouring to obtain such replies.
Barry Borman, Edgware