- The Australian Registrars’ National Electronic Conveyancing Council (‘ARNECC’) has published a guidance query ‘Guidance for e-settlement subscribers and their instructing practitioners’.
- Using an e-settlement subscriber for eConveyancing is more complex than using a traditional settlement agent in a paper conveyancing settlement.
Several companies are now operating as a third-party e-settlement subscriber (‘ES’) for the use of legal practitioners in eConveyancing.
What do e-settlement subscribers do?
ESs conduct the settlement of the conveyancing transaction in the electronic workspace, including signing documents, making certifications and signing the financial settlement schedule.
An ES is a Subscriber and is subject to the requirements of the Electronic Conveyancing National Law and Participation Rules, as well as the applicable professional regulatory framework.
Unlike a settlement agent in a paper conveyancing environment, ESs play a much wider role than simply attending physical settlement upon instructions from a solicitor. You should be aware that the law of principal and agent will not apply between the solicitor and the ES.
A few ESs appear to have based their approach upon the way a settlement agent was engaged in the paper conveyancing environment. However, due to the nature of eConveyancing and the much wider role ESs play, there are important differences to bear in mind if you are looking to utilise the services of an ES.