When you’re buying or selling property in Malaysia, it’s important to know that you have the right to choose your own lawyer. No estate agency can restrict or influence your decision. Here’s why it’s essential to exercise your freedom in selecting legal representation and why the concept of a “panel lawyer” shouldn’t limit your choices.


The Right to Independent Legal Representation

  1. Client Autonomy: As a client, you have the absolute right to select a lawyer of your choice. This right ensures that you receive unbiased legal advice tailored to your specific needs and circumstances.
  2. Conflict of Interest: Estate agencies might suggest or pressure you to use their “panel lawyers.” However, this can create conflicts of interest, as these lawyers may prioritize the interests of the agency over yours. Choosing your own lawyer ensures that your legal representative is solely focused on protecting your interests.
  3. Quality and Trust: When you choose your own lawyer, you can select someone based on their reputation, experience, and your personal comfort level with them. This can lead to a more trusting and effective professional relationship, ensuring better outcomes for your property transaction.

Why Estate Agencies Should Not Influence Your Choice

  1. Unbiased Advice: A lawyer not affiliated with the estate agency can provide you with impartial advice. This is crucial for making informed decisions without the pressure or influence of the agency’s preferences.
  2. Legal Compliance: Restricting or influencing a client’s choice of lawyer can violate legal and ethical standards. All clients should be informed that they are free to choose their own legal representation without any coercion.
  3. Avoiding Misconduct: Estate agencies that push clients towards specific lawyers can sometimes engage in misconduct. Ensuring that clients know their rights helps maintain ethical standards in property transactions.

The Myth of the “Panel Lawyer”

  1. No Legal Requirement: There’s no legal requirement for you to use a “panel lawyer” suggested by an estate agency. The concept of a “panel lawyer” is often used by agencies to streamline their processes, but it is not a binding rule for clients.
  2. Consumer Rights: Malaysian law supports your right to independent legal representation. Any attempt by an estate agency to restrict this choice can be challenged legally and ethically.

What You Should Do

  1. Assert Your Rights: Clearly state your intention to choose your own lawyer. Be firm and confident in your decision, knowing that the law supports you.
  2. Research and Choose Wisely: Take the time to research and select a lawyer based on their expertise, experience, and your comfort level with them. This will ensure that your property transaction is handled professionally and to your benefit.
  3. Report Unethical Behavior: If an estate agency attempts to coerce or influence your choice of lawyer, report this behavior to the relevant authorities. Protecting your rights helps uphold the standards of the legal and real estate professions.

Conclusion

Your right to choose your own lawyer is fundamental in ensuring fair and unbiased legal representation in property transactions. Estate agencies cannot and should not restrict or influence this choice. By being informed and assertive, you can ensure that your interests are fully protected and that your property dealings are conducted with the highest level of integrity and professionalism.

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