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Written by rosalind renshaw

The cull by lenders of their conveyancing panels is set to continue.

Conveyancing Alliance, an online conveyancing distributor, said that many local and family solicitors have lost their places on the panels, allowing only specialist conveyancing firms to remain if they can continue to meet standards and deal with significant volume. 

Harpal Singh, managing director of Conveyancing Alliance, said: “The conveyancing market is changing rapidly and recent research shows how quickly lenders are opting for specialists in their field rather than keeping their panels open to as many solicitor firms as possible. 

“The real focus now is on quality and volume, which is why many of the old school family firms are being cut from panels in favour of the specialist conveyancers. 

“Mortgage advisers and brokers can play an important role in making their clients aware of these facts and ensuring that time is not wasted in attempting to use firms which are no longer on many lender panels.”

He added: “Panel culling is a process that lenders will continue to operate and we will see many more solicitor firms being squeezed off panels.”

Comments

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    I do find it quite unsettling that mortgage lenders can unilaterally decide which firms in future will be providing conveyancing services. Is this in anticipation of Alternative Business Structures due to be imposed upon the legal profession in the next few weeks? The upside? If fewer firms are left to act for buyers the law of supply and demand will ultimately dictate an increase in legal fees. Less choice, higher fees, longer transactions - can't see that any of this will benefit the housebuyer.

    • 27 July 2011 13:19 PM
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    No-one seems to be addressing this from the client's point of view. If, as my clients prefer, they continue to instruct me in connection with the conveyance, the client is hit with extra costs because most solicitors deal with the mortgage contemporaneously at a reduced cost. Then there is the extra work for the conveyancing solicitor because searches & enquiries must be duplicated (either photocopied or done again). And what about customer choice? This arrangement will eventually give clients no choice at all in the solicitor they instruct. It'll be a case of "take it or leave it"

    • 27 July 2011 12:28 PM
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    No-one seems to be addressing this from the client's point of view. If, as my clients prefer, they continue to instruct me in connection with the conveyance, the client is hit with extra costs because most solicitors deal with the mortgage contemporaneously at a reduced cost. Then there is the extra work for the conveyancing solicitor because searches & enquiries must be duplicated (either photocopied or done again). And what about customer choice? This arrangement will eventually give clients no choice at all in the solicitor they instruct. It'll be a case of "take it or leave it"

    • 27 July 2011 12:28 PM
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    No-one seems to be addressing this from the client's point of view. If, as my clients prefer, they continue to instruct me in connection with the conveyance, the client is hit with extra costs because most solicitors deal with the mortgage contemporaneously at a reduced cost. Then there is the extra work for the conveyancing solicitor because searches & enquiries must be duplicated (either photocopied or done again). And what about customer choice? This arrangement will eventually give clients no choice at all in the solicitor they instruct. It'll be a case of "take it or leave it"

    • 27 July 2011 12:27 PM
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    A cull is definately under way (however, Santander are now charging firms £100.00 to remain on panels) but it is not as clear as Harpul implies. Many firms that are experienced, specialist and provide a quality service are also being targetted. A huge, badly thought out cull, would not benefit the public, independent agents (maybe it would help corporates) or solicitors. If you get a good service from your local solicitor/conveyancer keep supporting him/her. If they need help to stay on panels, or need to find an alternative solution, please point them in the direction of The Bold Group, www.theboldgroup.co.uk.

    • 27 July 2011 08:51 AM
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