Joint representation provides the best value for money for clients, the Law Society of England and Wales said today following a vote by its Scottish counterpart in favour of separate representation.

Jonathan Smithers, chair of the Law Society’s conveyancing and land law committee said: ‘The regulatory environment and market conditions are very different in Scotland. The Law Society continues to endorse joint representation for a range of reasons including providing the best value for money for the buying client.’

Smithers said that the Society’s position followed an extensive consultation with the profession in a series of roadshow events last year, which addressed the arguments both for and against separate representation, including the differences between the English and Scottish legal systems.

His comments follow the Law Society of Scotland’s 58:27 vote in favour of removing the current exception to the conflict of interest rules that permits a single solicitor to carry out work both for a client wishing to buy a property and their mortgage lender.

The decision was condemned by the Council of Mortgage Lenders, which accused the Scottish profession of protectionism.