I am in the process of buying a property in the UK, and using a solicitor for the conveyancing. So I am placing a great amount of trust in the solicitors and effectively assuming that they have checked over the contract sufficiently to protect me. However, what if it turns out that the solicitors have not done a very good job, and have missed something which in the future affects me negatively?

As a simple but perhaps naive hypothetical example, suppose there is an unusual clause in the contract which says that I must pay the vendor some arbitrary fee every year. And suppose that my solicitors do not notice this and do not inform me of it. Then when the vendor starts asking me to pay this fee, and I realise that it was on the original contract after all, am I able to claim that my solicitors did not do their job properly, and hence avoid paying this fee, or perhaps sue my solicitors?

In summary: The solicitors exist to ensure that the vendor is not doing anything dodgy, but what guarantee is in place to ensure that my solicitors are doing their job properly?

Yes, you could say "It is your responsibility", but then what is the point of using a solicitor anyway if you have to rigorously check everything they have done?

  • In the UK a contract is only enforceable if it is 'fair' and as intended. The actual contract is only proof that an arrangement had been agreed upon. I'll make a proper answer later.
    – Terry
    Feb 17, 2016 at 10:40
  • Given that buying a property is probably the biggest single purchase most people ever make, it would be worth reading the contract yourself, and maybe asking for a draft version in advance. For comparison, the contract on our current home was only 2 pages long; the one before that was 2.5 pages. Feb 17, 2016 at 11:59
  • Duplicate of this question: money.stackexchange.com/questions/60491/… Feb 17, 2016 at 12:49

1 Answer 1


The exact same mechanism for ensuring your plumber does a good job, you can

  • sue them
  • report them to their registering body
  • flame them on social media; just make sure you don't defame them.

You hired this solicitor to do their job and you prudently checked their licences, references and reputation- just like you do for everyone you hire. Trust them to do it.

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