EIC member Groundsure have launched a set of new climate clauses for insert to client advisory and reports on title to lenders for conveyancers, as part of a comprehensive set of resources on a new microsite.
The site examines the scale of potential risk from climate change on property transactions, the governance and compliance risks for law firms through the duty of care to advise clients and lenders. It also shows how the ClimateIndex analysis module, inclusive in the main environmental searches, identifies forward risks on flooding, ground stability and coastal erosion.
Alongside details explaining their client obligations in light of the legal opinion from Stephen Tromans KC, the key feature of the site is a set of prepared clauses for use in commercial and residential transactions that property lawyers can insert into their client care summaries and reports on title to lenders.
The clauses were designed with direct input from conveyancers and commercial real estate lawyers. They are also being reviewed by The Chancery Lane Project, who provide an open source set of climate clause resources to the wider legal community.
The clauses provide conveyancers with a method to easily highlight the risks to their clients in a compliant and consistent way — as well as explaining what their client should do next. A standard clause is available for residential transactions, while five clauses have been developed for commercial property transactions, given the greater variation in conditions and situations. Users can simply extract and drop these clauses into their standard documentation, highlighting any specific potential issues from the environmental report as normal.
The site also includes background information on the scale and impact of climate change on property and how it could affect law firms.
Dan Montagnani, CEO of Groundsure said:“When it comes to climate change, there is some concern about what conveyancers can do to meet the growing body of opinion that supports a duty of care to advise clients on climate risk. The microsite should help solicitors understand exactly what those duties are. We also outline how using a forward-looking environmental search that automatically includes climate data and can assist firms in meeting their ESG objectives. It also provides a clear sign to their PI insurer that they are addressing these risks through their advisory."