News and Information
February 08, 2022

Standing Committee on Legal Ethics to Offer Guidance on How Split Settlements Affects Practitioners

Additional Info Update 4/28/22:
The Virginia State Bar staff and Standing Committee on Legal Ethics was asked to provide guidance as to how the issue of split settlements affects practitioners. At its meeting on March 24, 2022, the Committee considered the FAQs prepared by staff and concluded that the issues and questions raised as a result of the Bureau of Insurance letter were beyond the scope of its authority to interpret and apply the Rules of Professional Conduct. The Committee recommended that staff refer the draft FAQs for review by the Real Property Section of the Virginia State Bar and consider posting the FAQs on the section’s web page.

The Commonwealth of Virginia Commissioner of Insurance at the State Corporation Commission issued a memo dated February 4, 2022, regarding “split settlements.” Read the memo.

The Bureau of Insurance has answered some frequently asked questions about split settlements here.

The Virginia State Bar takes no position on the content of the letter as the letter interprets sections of the Code of Virginia regarding the duties of settlement agents and how closings are to be conducted, as opposed to the Rules of Professional Conduct and the regulation of lawyers.

The Virginia State Bar staff and Standing Committee on Legal Ethics, however, have been asked to provide guidance as to how the issue of split settlements affects practitioners and intends to post frequently asked questions and responses on the Real Estate Settlement Agents web page. The proposed FAQs and answers will be presented to the Committee for approval at its next regularly scheduled meeting on March 24, 2022. Look for updates on the Real Estate Settlement Agents web page in late March.

Updated: Apr 28, 2022