The chairman of the Sole Practitioners Group (SPG) has called on its members to shop fellow sole practitioners who provide an "incompetent, not to say negligent" service.
Fay Landau, writing in Solo - the SPG's quarterly magazine for its 5,000 members - said that because of the need to reduce the massive cost of indemnity insurance, standards among sole practitioners needed to be raised.
She said: "I know at least seven firms about whom I have complained during the last two years. Some firms are causing infinite distress to their brethren who are doing a good job. If any member would like to tell me personally about any such experiences it would be helpful."
A spokesman for the SPG said these firms would be referred to the SPG's executive committee although "we cannot say what action will be taken beyond that".
A London-based sole practitioner said: "I'm not sure it's wise to draw attention to sole practitioners in this way. The profession will just say "even the sole practitioners know they are causing the problem'. In fact most of the conveyancing claims come from two-to-five partner firms."