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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 ?
If you are in a chain, your solicitor/ conveyancer will do the same thing, but will only release it if all the other people in the chain are happy to go ahead.
At the request of the licensed conveyancers, the niece gave them PS86,765 of estate money for "safekeeping".
"Transactions are taking longer to conclude with the impact of the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) for borrowers, shortage of conveyancers and Chartered Surveyors, but momentum is still strong and positive."
He added: "X-Press Legal Service has grown and prospered from the provision of search documents to conveyancers and solicitors, so it seemed appropriate to provide an online service that gave the public a better understanding of the law and the legal profession."
Firstly, thanks to the dramatic reduction in the number of sales, there is now quite a shortage of practising conveyancers.
A Your conveyancers will inevitably have to make an attempt to find out who the freeholder is, since it's likely to be a condition of the lease that the freeholder is notified when the property changes hands.
UK's HSBC Holdings Plc (LSE: HSBA)(NYSE: HBC) (HKG: 0005) is planning to set up a panel of solicitors and licensed conveyancers to provide legal services to the bank's home buying mortgage customers, Mortgage Finance Gazette has said in an online report.
Partner Nicola Neilson heads up the residential property department and leads a team of conveyancers which includes Martin Williamson, who is a member of the Institute of Licensed Conveyancers.
(2) The development of this reservation was recounted: a slow process that saw the admission of nonlawyer 'certificated' conveyancers prohibited from 1940; the remaining certificated conveyancers, literally, dying out in the 1980s; and the exclusion of barristers from conveyancing practice being formalised as late as 2004.