My ex partner and I just sold a home due to separation/divorce. His solicitor and our joint conveyancer (who is handling the home sale) seem to have a conflict of interest.
- I have requested the Conveyancer's trust fund details over the phone. She said she would send me an e-mail with the details.
- Instead of getting back to me, she sent a letter to the other party's solicitor saying 'We can't hold the funds but we are happy to put it in your trust fund' (I wasn't CC-ed into correspondence).
- My ex's solicitor then sent me a letter saying that the funds can't be kept at the conveyancing firm and had to be held at their firm . They made it sound like I have no choice but to agree to this arrangement. They referred to the email received from the conveyancer. I believe I should have been notified (about the inability to hold my funds) by my own conveyancer and not from the other party's solicitor.
- I called the conveyancer and confronted her. I demanded an explanation why they were suddenly unable to hold the excess funds from the sale. She completely turned around and suddenly claimed 'Of course we can hold the funds. That's no problem.'
- She immediately sent an e-mail to my ex's solicitor saying she's been advised by her client (me) to hold the funds at their account.
Why did she lie to me?
I don't understand why she first claimed they can't hold the funds, and then changed her mind when I confronted her. This upset me immensely. This isn't right. These two women clearly tried to manipulate me into putting the excess money from the sale into my ex's solicitors' trust account.
Would my ex benefit from this arrangement? (the funds' being in his solicitor's account)
What would be the benefits of this arrangement? Could my ex pay legal fees with it, before settlement? Could his solicitor take a cut in advance?
Is this misleading behaviour even legal?
Is this a code of conduct breach? Is this an obvious conflict of interest? Do I report this to someone? Should I ask for disclosure of conflict of interest and the nature of their relationship?
Should I get a different conveyancer immediately?
Can the action of a biased conveyancer in any way affect the outcome of the property settlement? Can she release funds to the other party without my consent?
What do I need to know about trust funds?
How do I know who I can trust? What is my best option?
Can co-owners of the same property use different conveyancers in settlement?
My ex and I have no contact. I fell uncomfortable with sharing a conveyancer with him, when she is clearly showing bias and collaborating with the other party's legal representation.
I can't afford legal representation right now. Can Legal Aid represent me?