Bills of Sale Consultation Paper—a response

Bills of Sale Consultation Paper—a response

Are the Law Commission’s proposals for a replacement to the historic Bills of Sale Acts fit for purpose? Dorothy Livingston, consultant in competition, regulation and trade at Herbert Smith Freehills, and chairperson of the Financial Law Committee of the City of London Law Society (the Committee), explains what prompted the Committee to publish a detailed response to the consultation and outlines their key concerns with the proposals.

Original news

The Committee has submitted its response to a consultation by the Law Commission on bills of sale. The CLLS opposes the Law Commission’s proposed reforms of current legislation covering bills of sale, setting out its reasons in its response.

Why did the Law Commission decide to open a consultation on the Bills of Sale Acts?

According to the Law Commission website, in September 2014 HM Treasury asked the Law Commission to consider the current law and make recommendations for its reform. This follows on from an increase in the use of the almost obsolete bill of sale as a technique for taking security for personal loans, principally related to vehicles already owned by the borrower (logbook loans).

What were the key proposals emerging from the consultation?

The proposals were for a readily usable replacement for the Bills of Sale Acts which would allow individuals to give security over any of their assets, however small in value, relatively simply without parting with possession of the goods in question. Currently, except where the lender is prepared to engage with the cumbersome bills of sale process, individuals can only give security over goods by pawning them, in which case the pawnbroker takes possession, or placing them with an agent of the lender who holds them for the account of the lender (a process used for some higher value goods, such as fine wines, works of art or valuable coins/gold held as an investment). Consumers can

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About the author:

Neeta has been working as a paralegal in Banking and Insolvency for the past 4 and a half years.

She started her legal career at Allen & Overy in 2008 in the midst of the global financial crisis and the collapse of Lehmans where she gained most of her experience.

Neeta also did a short stint in litigation at the Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office. Neeta graduated with a 2:1 honours degree from University of London, Queen Mary College and went on to obtain a distinction from the College of Law in the Legal Practice Course. She moved to Lexis®PSL in April 2013.