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the practice (some would say art) of transferring ownership in property. In some cases the law takes care of the transfer - this is so in many everyday transactions for the sale of goods where the property is transferred according to the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended) if the parties have not sought to regulate matters for themselves. In many other cases difficult issues usually involve the writing of some instrument. Thus, some incorporeal moveables have to be transferred by assignation, and real or heritable property may often have to be conveyed by a formal written document, usually one recorded in a register.

In England and Scotland the conveyancing of land is largely the domain of solicitors, although often members of the Bar specialize in resolving problems that are contractual or relate to land law. In both jurisdictions there are practices that grow up to facilitate what is often, but not always, a piece of non-contentious business - it is this practical part of the business that conveyancers consider their art.

In England there is a body of people who are licensed conveyancers but not solicitors or barristers. The same system exists in Scotland, but no sub-solicitor conveyancing profession has yet emerged as a market force, so conveyancing is still done at the time of writing by solicitors, indeed the body set up to regulate non-solicitor conveyancers has been dissolved and taken over by the Law Society of Scotland.

Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006
References in periodicals archive ?
With e-conveyancing all the parties, including estate agents, solicitors, and lenders, will be connected electronically.
With the general shift towards e-conveyancing and the speeding up of property transactions in the UK, Know Your Neighbour is an essential tool for conveyancers who want to keep ahead of the game.'
MFG Solicitors is taking part in various internet-based online Land Registry pilot schemes in the build up to the introduction of a full blown e-conveyancing scheme due to be rolled out in the latter part of 2008.
Topics range from the impact of Home Information Packs to e-conveyancing at the event which will be held on October 14.
The "e-conveyancing" system would make obsolete the inchesthick files which go with each home purchase and shave several weeks from the average time taken to complete a property transaction, said the Land Registry's Steve Kelway.
The Land Registry is to launch its pilot scheme for e-conveyancing in October next year.
Catherine Cross, a solicitor in Robert Muckle's property services group, examines proposals set out by The Land Registry which aim to make e-conveyancing standard practice in the future.
Baroness Ashton said: "Once sufficient experience of the new system has been gained, the Secretary of State and Land Registry will initiate a consultation process with stakeholders over the form of the rules which will make e-conveyancing compulsory for most transactions.
More will follow in 2005, including the next steps in e-conveyancing. The most influential new property laws of 2004 included:
He said: "HM Land Registry's plan is the latest step towards e-conveyancing. With home information packs due to become mandatory in June next year, and instructions, mortgage offers, searches, fund transfer and even contract exchange all predicted to go electronic in the near future, the good news is that much of the frustrating delay experienced by most buyers and sellers may soon be a thing of the past.