Law firms queried over conveyancing bids

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 November, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 November, 2000, 12:00am

The Housing Authority will reassess the service quality of law firms that have bid for the conveyancing of a public housing project at prices less than the record low fee of $191.50.

A housing source said several law firms would be interviewed after proposing the low conveyancing fees for a forthcoming project. The move came out of 'extreme concern' about the quality of the firms. 'The authority will ask the firms to explain how they can guarantee good service quality with such low tendering prices,' the source said.

Housing Authority member Ng Leung-sing said more than 50 law firms had joined the tender, but he refused to disclose the proposed prices until the result was announced later this month.

A legal source said the firms were 'committing suicide' through cut-throat competition.

'The law firms are killing the profession. Our firm has stopped bidding for the authority's projects. We'll now wait to see an even bigger housing scandal develop,' the source said.

The move follows widespread concern over service quality as lawyers battle for business.

In July, solicitors charged conveyancing fees of just $191.50 a flat in a Housing Authority project - a 98 per cent drop from a peak of $9,000 a flat charged at the height of the 1997 property boom.