There is no satisfactory answer to the question 'Should I use a solicitor or a conveyancer?' There is evidence on both sides -but it's all anecdotal. In one case, yes -a conveyancer has made a mess of things. In another case, a solicitor has bungled. My own (very limited) experience of solicitors has been mixed -ranging from the excellent to the mildly disappointing -and I would certainly refuse to generalise on that basis about all solicitors.
If you decide to use a conveyancer, remember that he will not have had to pass the Law Society examinations, and so try to find out if he has at least had a fair amount of experience in the business. If you decide to use a solicitor, you have the reassurance that he will have passed those exams and that he is bound by certain professional rules and standards.
The best reassurance, whomever you choose, is a personal recommendation from someone you know who has used them. One last point that should be made is that if the house purchase/sale is complicated by any other legal matter -if you are also going through a divorce, for example -then it may well be wise to have a solicitor acting for you.
A few people (perhaps 1% of all those who move house) choose a third option.
The last few years have seen the emergence of another group of people prepared to undertake conveyancing: they are usually called 'conveyancers'. They are not qualified as solicitors although they may, of course, have had experience of conveyancing as clerks in a solicitor's office.
This development has not been welcomed by the Law Society, who have on several occasions prosecuted (though to date unsuccessfully) unqualified conveyancers. There have also been reports in the past of the other side's solicitors making life extremely difficult by, for example, refusing to acknowledge letters sent to them by an unqualified conveyancer.
If you decide to use the services of a non-legal conveyancer, there are several questions that you must ask of the firm concerned:
1 Do they have professional indemnity . . .... see: IFA - Enlisting the professionals' help - The choice between solicitor and conveyance
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