What is a Client Authorisation Form?

client authorisation

Navigating the Essentials of Client Authorisation in Conveyancing

In the intricate world of property transactions, the concept of Client Authorisation forms a cornerstone, ensuring that every step of the process is underpinned by legality and transparency. This pivotal document, the Client Authorisation Form, plays a critical role in safeguarding the interests of all parties involved in a conveyancing transaction. It's not just a formality, but a foundational element that reinforces trust and clarity in property dealings.

As professionals in the world of conveyancing, we understand that the journey of managing property transactions is fraught with complexities. The significance of completing and signing a Client Authorisation Form cannot be overstated. It is a practice rooted in good judgement, mandating its completion as soon as practicable after a client's instructions are received. This is especially crucial before any digitally signed electronic Land Registry instrument or document is processed, or a subscriber is authorised for digital signing. In essence, it's the bedrock upon which the legality and smooth execution of a conveyancing transaction rest.

What is Client Authorisation?

Client Authorisation is a fundamental requirement in the world of conveyancing, serving as the legal backbone for any property-related transaction. It is a formal process whereby a client grants permission to a conveyancer or legal practitioner to act on their behalf in a specific transaction. This authorisation is not just a procedural step; it's a critical legal mandate that ensures that the representative acts within the bounds of the client's instructions and in compliance with the law.

The process begins as soon as a client instructs a professional to act on their behalf. It's imperative that the Client Authorisation Form is completed and duly signed at the earliest opportunity. This step is not merely a formality but a legal necessity, particularly before proceeding with digitally signed electronic documents in the Land Registry.

The authorisation empowers the representative to legally process digitally signed electronic Land Registry instruments or documents through the electronic workspace. It also grants them the authority to digitally sign such documents on behalf of the client. This dual role underscores the importance of the Client Authorisation Form as a safeguard against unauthorised actions and as a means of maintaining the integrity of the conveyancing process.

Breaking Down the Client Authorisation Form

The Client Authorisation Form is meticulously structured into four distinct sections, each serving a specific purpose in the conveyancing process. Understanding these sections is crucial for both clients and professionals to ensure compliance and accuracy.

Client Particulars

This section requires detailed information about the client. For an individual, it includes their full name and address. In cases where the client is a corporate entity, the form necessitates the company's full registered name and ACN/ARBN. Any discrepancies in the name demand a supporting declaration, signed by the client, to confirm their identity and the legitimacy of their involvement in the transaction.

Transaction Details

This part of the form specifies the scope of the authority granted to the subscriber. It could be for a specific matter, a standing period with a defined expiration date, or a batch authority for multiple transactions. The client must indicate the type of transaction be it a transfer, mortgage, or other Land Registry documents and provide additional instructions if necessary. It's a section that requires precise detailing to avoid any ambiguities in the transaction.

Client Authorisation and Signing

In this crucial section, the client or their agent confirms their legal authority to instruct in the conveyancing transaction. It's a certification of identity and authority. The client or agent needs to read this section carefully, sign, and date it, ensuring they understand the extent of the authorisation they are providing.

Representative Details and Signing

The final section is where the representative (conveyancer or legal practitioner) confirms their details and the capacity in which they are signing the form. They must also certify that they have taken reasonable steps to verify the authenticity of the signatures of the client or client agent. This section is signed and dated by the representative, affirming their role and responsibility in the transaction.

Adherence to Model Participation Rules

Understanding and complying with the Model Participation Rules (MPR) is a critical aspect of conveyancing. These rules provide a framework to ensure that every transaction is executed with due diligence and legal integrity.

Verification of Identity Standard

At the core of these rules is the 'Verification of Identity Standard' detailed in Schedule 8 of the MPR. This standard mandates a thorough verification process to establish the identity of clients involved in property transactions. Importantly, the Australian Registrars National Electronic Conveyancing Council (ARNECC) does not endorse or validate identity agents. This underscores the responsibility of subscribers and mortgagees to independently ensure that identity verification is conducted rigorously.

Verification must occur in a face-to-face setting, where the verifier personally meets the client. The process is detailed and includes specific document requirements, which vary for Australian citizens/residents and those who are not. When engaging an Identity Agent, the agent is required to provide a certification as per Schedule 9 of the MPR.

Model Participation Rules Version 6

The latest version of the rules can be found on the ARNECC website. It's essential for professionals in the field to stay updated with these rules to maintain the highest standards of legal compliance.

Release of Title Deeds

The MPR also outlines procedures for the release of Title Deeds, whether in paper or electronic form. Following the Verification of Identity standard is imperative in these processes to prevent fraud and ensure the legitimacy of the transaction.

Execution of Registry Instruments in Victoria

In the conveyancing landscape of Victoria, the execution of registry instruments is governed by specific authorisation guidelines. These guidelines define who is legally permitted to sign registry instruments, ensuring that every transaction adheres to the highest standards of legal compliance and integrity.

Authorised Signatories

  1. Australian Legal Practitioners and Law Practices: This category includes Australian Legal Practitioners, their locums, and contractors, as well as interstate registered Australian Legal Practitioners. Supervised Licensed Conveyancer employees and supervised non practitioner employees also fall under this category.

  2. Licensed Conveyancers including Conveyancing Practices: Licensed Conveyancers, along with their supervised non practitioner employees, locums, and contractors, are authorised. Additionally, interstate registered Licensed Conveyancers who have been granted mutual recognition are included.

Certifications as to Identity

A crucial element in the process is the certification of identity. Subscribers are responsible for ensuring that the client is a legal entity and holds the appropriate rights for the transaction. In the PEXA (Property Exchange Australia) system, subscribers are required to make several certifications. These include verifying the completeness and accuracy of the Settlement Statement, ensuring the identity of the transacting party, confirming the completion of a 'Client Authorisation' for the transaction, and asserting that the registry instrument or document is correct and complies with relevant laws and prescribed requirements.

In cases where a Notice of Acquisition is necessary, subscribers also certify its correctness and compliance. Importantly, subscribers are obligated to retain supporting evidence for a minimum of seven years and must be prepared to present this evidence in a Compliance Examination or legal proceedings.

Maintaining Compliance and Avoiding Fraud

In the conveyancing sector, stringent adherence to compliance standards is not just a legal requirement; it's a vital safeguard against the ever-present risk of fraud. Ensuring compliance and taking proactive steps to prevent fraudulent activities are paramount for protecting all parties involved in property transactions.

Upholding Verification Standards

At the heart of compliance is the rigorous application of verification standards. These standards are designed to meticulously confirm the identities of the parties involved and the legitimacy of their claims and rights in a transaction. Adhering to these standards is not just about following rules; it's about instilling trust and security in every transaction.

Documentation and Evidence

For conveyancers and legal practitioners, maintaining an exhaustive record of all documents and evidence is crucial. This includes a fully completed Client Authorisation form, evidence of identity verification, confirmation of the right to deal, and any other prescribed requirement. The retention of such evidence, whether in electronic or paper format, is not only a regulatory requirement but also a critical component of risk management, especially in the event of a compliance audit or court action.

Secure Storage and Accessibility

The secure storage of all relevant documents and evidence is equally important. Professionals must ensure that all records are not only safely stored but also readily accessible when needed, be it for a compliance audit or legal proceedings.


In conclusion, the Client Authorisation Form and the associated compliance procedures play a pivotal role in the integrity and security of conveyancing transactions. Adhering to these standards not only ensures legal compliance but also provides a robust defence against fraud. At Pearson Chambers Conveyancing, we are committed to upholding these standards, providing our clients with secure, transparent, and professional conveyancing services. For expert guidance and assistance in your property transactions, reach out to us at Pearson Chambers Conveyancing. Contact us at 0421 058 106, email contact@pearsonchambers.com.au, or visit our website at www.pearsonchambers.com.au.