Chancery Lane report 'naive' says SPG

The Solicitors Property Group (SPG) has attacked the Law Society for excluding it from discussions on whether solicitors should be encouraged to sell property.

In a letter to the society's property and commercial services committee, the group, which represents 150 firms, slammed a report on property selling prepared by the committee and presented to council members last week.

The letter pointed out that there were problems in translating property display centres south of the border because of differences in culture.

It criticised the report for drawing “naive” comparisons and making “bald and unsubstantiated statements”.

Leslie Dubow, chief executive of the SPG, said: “I simply cannot understand how this paper could have been put to the council without first consulting with us and asking for our comments in the light of our practical experience in these matters.

“Frankly it shows. Quite a number of the comments in the paper are naive and lack any sense of commercial reality.”

Speaking at the Law Society council meeting last Thursday, Richard Hegarty, chair of its property and commercial services committee, said he favoured liberalisation of the current system.

But others at the meeting were less keen, pointing out that estate agents in Scotland do not wield the same power as they do in England.

Angus Andrew, of the West London constituency, warned the council against going down the “disastrous road of trying to be all things to all men”.

The standards and guidance committee will now examine whether the Solicitors' Practice Rules should be relaxed.