Law Society postpone TA6 form – PLAG responds


The Law Society announced the ‘postponement’ of its controversial Fifth edition of the ‘TA6’ (Announcement) last Friday.

The TA6 is based on the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team’s guidance on Material Information, which is not legally binding on estate agents (MI).

The Law Society said:

“For many members of the public, specialist conveyancing solicitors and their teams are the face of the legal profession, ensuring that hundreds of thousands of home moves can take place annually,” said Law Society of England and Wales chief executive officer Ian Jeffery.

“Conveyancing work is at the heart of a larger buying and selling process for homes and that process is undergoing long term change, driven by technological advances and public policy.

“As a profession we must embrace change and a key role of the Society is to support our members through this evolution.

“In this vein, the recent updates made to our TA6 form were intended as a pragmatic response to the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team (NTSELAT) guidance on material information. We know that many firms have been gearing up to go live with the new form, with thousands of copies having already been accessed.

“However, we have listened to recent feedback and recognise that we have not yet persuaded enough of our colleagues on those particular changes, so we need to do more to communicate with the profession about them. Having reflected on the strength of feeling expressed by members on this issue we have this week decided to postpone compulsory implementation of the TA6 Property Information Form (5th edition) (2024) for accredited CQS members for six months while we consult members further.

“To clarify, for the period until 15 January 2025 members will be compliant with our Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) if they use either TA6 (4th edition, second revision) (2020) or if they use the new TA6 Property Information Form (5th edition) (2024).

“In the coming weeks we will consult members further about the content of the TA6 5th edition to ensure we understand the full range of member views. In the meantime, we know some members are using the new form or readying themselves to do so, and we would encourage them to continue in that way.”

The Property Lawyers Action Group (PLAG) responded to last Friday’s announcement by the Law Society regarding the ‘postponement’ of its controversial Fifth edition of the ‘TA6’ (Announcement).

PLAG considers the Announcement disappointing for several reasons. In particular:

How could the Law Society’s approach to MI be predicated on ‘pragmatism’ when its implementation would have far-reaching civil and criminal legal consequences for both the public and solicitors?

The Law Society has not appreciated the full extent of members’ anger over the lack of transparency concerning the adoption by the Law Society of MI.

Angry members expected therefore the TA6 to be withdrawn, not merely ‘postponed’.

PLAG considers it curious that the LS should suggest in the announcement that: ‘until 15 January 2025 members will be compliant with the CQS if they use either TA6 (4th edition, second revision) (2020) or if they use the new TA6’ Property Information Form (5th edition) (2024), Jeffery said’ This would imply the Law Society has already made up its mind.

PLAG considers the Law Society’s Announcement unfortunately to be condescending, especially as one solicitor has remarked for

instance, that he felt like his own representative body, had declared war on its own members.

What next?

At the centre of the controversy regarding the TA6 is the need for transparency, so the Law Society’s actions become much more pellucid.

Equally, there needs to be a real debate with its members, regarding their relationship with law tech in 2024.

PLAG is carefully considering its next steps concerning the Special General Meeting. However, Stephen Larcombe, chair of PLAG remarks: “That bearing in mind the numerous objections sent to the Law Society concerning the TA6 and the MI policy that underpins it, by PLAG, various local law societies and members individually, it is a pity that the Law Society left PLAG with little choice but to initiate the arrangements for an SGM.

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