Legal Members

Welcome to the Legal Members section of the AIPP LWG. This section is designed for Legal Members who are interested in joining the AIPP LWG and explains the purpose, nature and scope of the service and the process to follow to apply for participation in this scheme.

 

Statement of principles

AIPP regards education of consumers and assistance when things go wrong to be an important aspect of the association’s activities in supporting British buyers and owners of a foreign property.

 

Participation in the AIPP LWG is encouraged amongst Legal Members of the AIPP but is not mandatory. AIPP acknowledges that whilst it is a membership organisation, it should also contribute to the wider community surrounding the International Property market place. Through the provision of the LWG, AIPP will increase consumer awareness of legal matters attached to an international property purchase.

 

Scope

Provision of advice under the LWG is not intended to be a substitute for consumers to engage Legal Members to fully advise on a case. The AIPP is aware that, unfortunately, some consumers will try to avoid taking independent legal advice through a combination of internet research, speaking to other people who have bought properties and taking unfair advantage of the LWG. The AIPP wishes to discourage consumers from doing this as it is not in their best interests and contrary to the ethos that consumers should take full independent legal advice when buying overseas property.

 

AIPP LWG members should be prepared to give or facilitate advice in two key areas;

1.     Purchase of property

a.     The advice to be given is up to an hour spent educating and informing the consumer as to how the process of buying a property in that country works at a general level (i.e. not specific to their particular circumstances). The amount of time spent can be less than an hour if the consumer requests it or if the Legal Member believes that the consumer is trying to gather information for the purpose of not taking full independent legal advice at all to help them buy a property.

b.     If the consumer requires any specific advice relating to a purchase over and above the education and information in section 1a. above then it will be up to the Legal Member to decide at which point they will stop providing Pro Bono work. There is no requirement for Legal Members of the LWG to provide any advice over and above 1a. above.

2.     Problems with existing property

a.     Review of the brief provided by the consumer relating to the legal matter in hand and its background.

b.     Appointed review of the copy of the documents and the correspondence between the relevant parties which should not exceed 50 pages and which may include the promotional material, contract and the relevant correspondence in relation to the legal matter in hand.

c.     Up to 1 hour discussion with the consumer to gather further information and to discuss the matter with them.

d.     Provide a legal opinion in writing as to the situation, the possible options going forward and potential costs of proceeding with each option.

e.     If the Legal Member wishes, they can take on the case going forward at no cost on a completely Pro Bono basis but there is no requirement to do so.

Process

Given the lack of consumer understanding of international property legal matters, special care may be needed in managing the expectations of the enquiring consumer and the way a matter is likely to proceed.

 

Upon receipt of a consumer enquiry, AIPP LWG administrative staff will ensure that the terms of engagement are clearly articulated and understood by the consumer before the facility is used. They will then allocate the case to the LWG Member who has expertise for the relevant jurisdiction, on a rota basis.

 

The LWG Member will engage the consumer under their own client letter and set out the work to be undertaken for the consumer under this facility. The LWG Member will carry out the work with the same professional skill and diligence as they would do if they were being paid by the consumer to provide the advice. His or her only duty of care will be to the beneficiary of that advice only.

 

Conflict of interest

Members will be asked at the outset whether they have a conflict of interest in that particular case. If the member determines at any point that there is a conflict then the member must discontinue the LWG guidance. The member will inform AIPP who will also communicate with the consumer that as a result of a conflict of interest the member can no longer provide the LWG guidance or any advice in any event and allocate the case to the next suitable LWG Member in accordance with the rota.

 

Charging for LWG guidance

Neither AIPP nor the LWG Member will charge any fees or disbursements in relation to the LWG service.

LWG Members are encouraged to allow their staff sufficient time and resources to meet with a consumer and provide the agreed services under the LWG.

 

Participation in AIPP LWG

If you are a current member of AIPP and are interested in participating in the LWG then please contact AIPP (lwg@aipp.org.uk) and we will send you two documents that require your attention and submission. If you are not already a member of AIPP then you must first join AIPP in order to participate in the scheme, please email enquiries@aipp.org.uk for more information or complete our online application form. There is no additional cost to join the AIPP LWG scheme:

1.     LWG Member Information Form – this form  provides us with your details and your areas of specialism and jurisdiction.

2.     LWG Member Participation T&Cs – this sets out the terms of participation in LWG. You will need to sign, date and return these in order to join.

Once your application has been approved we will add you to the list of participating members and will contact you, on a rota basis, when an enquiry is made in your area of jurisdictional expertise.

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