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The conveyancers' yearbook 2007

by Russell Hewitson

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by PhillipTaylor

Northern solicitor, Russell Hewitson, continues to produce an outstanding annual work for practitioners in the busy property world.  The 2007 edition, like its predecessors, gives an up-to-date and accessible ready reference guide to some of the most important changes in the law and practice of conveyancing.


A word of warning on Home Information Packs (Part D 9 at page 232)! Since Mr Hewitson wrote this piece, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) have put back the operational date and the properties which qualify after strong representations were made by those involved across the property market.




As in the past, the yearbook describes recent relevant case law, giving a summary of the facts, the court’s decision, and a commentary on the practical implications of what has been decided.  Of prime importance for the legal practitioner are the sections which cover statutes and statutory instruments.  The detail contained in the 2007 yearbook sets out recent books and articles published and, to keep up with the demands of continuous professional development, a summary of legal and practical changes which are expected to occur during the next twelve months.


Probably the most useful purpose of Hewitson’s work allows practitioners to be kept fully informed of modern law and practice without having constantly to read specialist periodicals for information of relevance.  In other words, it is an easy, accessible yearbook which points the practitioner in the right direction for the intense detail contained in the heavyweight periodicals.  I should say that, whilst the book is slim and fits into the pocket, it is by no means lightweight in its content!


Also, the book is not intended to be comprehensive, or a textbook substitute.  It aims to provide a quick-reference guide to the main and important changes in conveyancing giving addresses of useful websites and details of Land Registry publications and offices at the back.  The law is stated as at 1<sup>st</sup> March 2007.


For those practitioners new to the yearbook, it has five main parts: recent cases; recent legislation (the biggest part); other recent developments; the way forward; and a reference section.   


Planning issues in part B 14 at page 143 have recently be subjected to the planning-gain supplement proposed by Kate Barker in her review of housing supply as a means of releasing the land value created by the planning process. Detailed news of Barker’s Review and implementation came a little late for this edition and Hewitson mentions that the supplement will now be introduced in 2009 rather than 2008. The websites listed at part E 3 at page 292 are as essential as ever to keep practitioners up to date with events.


The Conveyancers’ Yearbook is clearly a publication which any conveyancer should have in the office library: it’s a simple yearbook which deals with the intricacies of conveyancing in a straightforward and formidable manner, and it is very current.


PHILLIP TAYLOR MBE LL.B (Hons) PGCE Barrister-at-Law.

Richmond Green Chambers.    

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