Solicitors (Conveyancing Charges)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 20th July 1966.

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Photo of Mr Benjamin Whitaker Mr Benjamin Whitaker , Hampstead 12:00 am, 20th July 1966

asked the Attorney-General whether he will take powers to refer solicitors' conveyancing charges to either the Monopolies Commission or the Restrictive Practices Court; and if he will refer recent increases in solicitors' remuneration arising out of conveyancing to the National Board for Prices and Incomes.

Photo of Sir Elwyn Jones Sir Elwyn Jones , West Ham South

No. Statutory control over solicitors' conveyancing charges is exercised by a committee of which my noble Friend the Lord Chancellor is the chairman. There has been no change in the scales authorised by the Committee since 1960. My noble Friend recently invited the Law Society to consider alterations in the method of charging. The Law Society is now doing this. It would therefore be premature to consider the desirability of the suggested references at this stage.

Photo of Mr Benjamin Whitaker Mr Benjamin Whitaker , Hampstead

Will my right hon. and learned Friend explain why the legal profession is reluctant to submit its contentions to the verdict of a jury composed of non-lawyers?

Photo of Sir Elwyn Jones Sir Elwyn Jones , West Ham South

The Committee to which I have referred contains eminent public personalities and judges who, I think, ought to be relied on to protect the public interest, but, as I say, in any event this matter is now under active consideration by the Law Society, and is being watched most carefully by my noble Friend.