Q&As

It is becoming more common that conveyancers are asking for confirmation that the seller's solicitors have carried out ID checks and are satisfied that the seller is the registered proprietor. I am concerned about the transfer of AML and fraud risk particularly where the buyer's solicitors state they will be placing reliance upon the representations made by the seller's solicitors. Should my response be that the buyer should make/rely on their own checks?

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Produced in partnership with Jeff Hardman of 12 New Square Chambers
Published on LexisPSL on 21/12/2017

The following Practice Compliance Q&A produced in partnership with Jeff Hardman of 12 New Square Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • It is becoming more common that conveyancers are asking for confirmation that the seller's solicitors have carried out ID checks and are satisfied that the seller is the registered proprietor. I am concerned about the transfer of AML and fraud risk particularly where the buyer's solicitors state they will be placing reliance upon the representations made by the seller's solicitors. Should my response be that the buyer should make/rely on their own checks?
  • Seller’s solicitors’ liability
  • Buyer’s solicitors’ liability

It is becoming more common that conveyancers are asking for confirmation that the seller's solicitors have carried out ID checks and are satisfied that the seller is the registered proprietor. I am concerned about the transfer of AML and fraud risk particularly where the buyer's solicitors state they will be placing reliance upon the representations made by the seller's solicitors. Should my response be that the buyer should make/rely on their own checks?

In respect of relations between agents and third parties generally, in the absence of other indications, when an agent makes a contract, purporting to act solely on behalf of a disclosed principal, whether identified or unidentified, he is not liable to the third party on it. Nor can he sue the third party on it. See Practice Note: Agent and third party relationships.

However, at common law, where a person purports to contract on behalf of a principal, and the principal is a fictitious or non-existent person or entity, the person so purporting to contract may sometimes be regarded as having contracted personally. See Kelner v Baxter; Black v Smallwood; Marblestone Industries Ltd v Fairchild; Gross; and Shapira (1975) 3 Otago L.Rev. 309 (not reported by LexisNexis®). From these cases an agent may be liable for an innocent misrepresentation where it is asserted he has authority to act on behalf of a principal

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