Can the same lawyer represent both buyer and seller at once?

I’ve just become aware of a situation where a guy is buying a house off his mate, and the seller wants both parties to use the same solicitor.

It’s none of my beeswax, and I won’t say anything, but I’m curious if that’s legal.

If it is legal, is it discouraged? I would have thought there’s all kinds of conflict of interest going on with such an arrangement.

What happens if the solicitor advises them to do something that’s highly harmful to the buyer’s interests but fantastic for the seller, or vice versa?

In my simplistic understanding of law, it is an adversarial system, requiring both parties to retain separate advisors. Am I wrong?

As you don’t even need a solicitor to do a conveyance when you buy or sell a house I therefore doubt the same solicitor can not be used when buying and selling. Would guess this situation might be common in some rural areas too.

I required another solicitor for buying something from my father.

I thought it was a legal requirement. Maybe just good practice.

My father had a small piece of land and when he transferred it to me we used the same solicitor as there was no conflicts of interest.

It is possible but only with careful safeguards such as different solicitors in the firm acting for each party. Especially where elderly or otherwise vulnerable parties are concerned it is essential that they obtain separate advice. Regulations are here: … e/en/print