TD Canada Trust adopts
Western Law Societies Conveyancing Protocol

TD Canada Trust becomes the latest national lender to adopt the Western Law Societies Conveyancing Protocol.

The conveyancing protocol was established in 2001 by the law societies in the four western provinces. Each of the law societies has adopted a version of the protocol that is tailored for use in that jurisdiction. In BC, the protocol provides that a lawyer who acts for a financial institution is permitted to advise the institution (through a short, standard form opinion) that, if there are no known building location defects on a property, the institution need not obtain an up-to-date building location survey as a condition of funding a mortgage loan. If the financial institution relies on a protocol opinion to fund a mortgage and suffers an actual loss as a result of an unknown building location defect that would have been disclosed by an up-to-date survey, the Lawyers Insurance Fund will, on behalf of the lawyer, accept liability and, as appropriate, pay the cost of repair or any actual loss suffered. In other provinces, the protocol also addresses specific problems related to the release of mortgage and purchase funds on closing.

This protocol helps to streamline process and reduce costs for mortgage lenders. Although some additional practice standards are set for BC lawyers in issuing protocol opinions, nothing in the protocol otherwise diminishes or changes the usual practices of prudent law firms or the standard of care for lawyers acting on mortgage transactions.

In agreeing to accept opinions under the protocol, TD Canada Trust joins national lenders, including the Royal Bank, the Bank of Montreal and Canadian Western Bank.

The BC version of the Western Law Societies Conveyancing Protocol and background information are available under “Practice Support/Articles” on the Law Society website at For comments or questions about the protocol, contact lawyer David Newell at the Law Society ( Insurance coverage questions should be directed to Surindar Nijjar at the Lawyers Insurance Fund (