Conveyancing advice causes third of all solicitor PI claims

Over a third of all solicitor professional indemnity claims arise out of residential conveyancing advice, according to the results of a new survey.

The Zurich Professional survey revealed that a high percentage of claims arise from the failure of solicitors to carry out correctly routine conveyancing practices, such as investigation into the title of property and the identification of encumbrances affecting a property. Other causes for claims from clients have arisen from solicitors failing to make and advise on appropriate searches, failing to address planning issues and options of co-ownership.

Claims relating to commercial property accounted for 13 per cent of the total claims Zurich Professional received in the period September 2002 to December 2003. The main areas of complaint arose from solicitor’s failing to investigate title, drafting errors in documentation and failing to ensure clients understood the nature of leases.