on 09-08-2017 02:42 PM
Some would suggest our old friend the Transfer of Land has undergone enough changes. Over the years it's been amended, tweaked, reworded, revamped. It's really been quite a journey. And here we are again. As electronic conveyancing approaches, the transfer is preparing for an extreme makeover as it morphs into digital form.
The Registrar is seeking to prepare the Transfer for its new life in the digital world. The first step towards achieving this goal seems logical enough. Let's change the execution clause on the paper transfers so that practitioners can start getting used to signing on behalf of their clients, just as they will in the electronic space.
The trouble is, the Registrar seems to have leapt into this without turning his mind to some of the finer details leaving many of us rather confused.
So let's look at the key changes. Our transfer can now be signed by:
Please be aware: If you are a legal practitioner, in order to sign on behalf of your client you need to sign as either an Australian Legal Practitioner or Licensed Conveyancer. Do NOT sign as an Electronic Lodgement Network Subscriber, even if you are registered with PEXA. This clause is reserved for an agent like Network Lawyers to sign on behalf of your firm.
Other issues, such as settlement clerks needing to verify ELN subscribers and VOI documents at settlement, have also been flagged.
At Network Lawyers, we do our best to keep abreast of any industry changes so please feel free to drop us a line if you require any assistance.
on 16-08-2017 01:19 PM
Please note that this article has been updated in order to correct information pertaining to signing the transfer as an ELN subsubscriber.
03-10-2017 10:14 AM - edited 09-10-2017 11:38 AM
Despite all the changes, tweaks etc. that this form has gone through, we're still left with one really dumb outcome. A non-lawyer who is supervised by a Licensed Conveyancer is entitled to sign a Transfer of Land on behalf of a client, but a non-lawyer who is supervised by a qualified Legal Practitioner is not.
It seems that the Legal Services Commissioner (Victoria) does not regard lawyers as being as capable as Licensed Conveyancers in terms of conveyancing expertise or their ability to adequately supervise staff!
Note that in Victoria a supervised Licensed Conveyancer employee of a legal practice can sign, but here we hit another hurdle of absurdity. A legal practice can only employ a Licensed Conveyancer if the law firm takes out a separate PI insurance policy specifically to cover its Licensed Conveyancer. This is because the law firm's PI insurance will cover the legal practitioner employees for their conveyancing work, but not the Licensed Conveyancer. It seems pretty obvious that this dumb legislation was created to make the job of the regulators a little easier, without any thought going into the resulting absurdities.
(See the ARNECC publication "Entitlement To Sign Registry Instruments".)
Peter Mericka Lawyers Conveyancing