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Ready to buy a new home? Failing to check that a lawyer is on the Banks & Clients list of approved solicitors can put your transaction at risk of delay or failure.

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How easy is it to change a solicitor as I need to find one who is on the Banks and Clients conveyancing panel. Is it advisable to appoint a new law firm?
If you haven't yet instructed a solicitor to do anything for you and have just received quotes, you're perfectly free to choose a different solicitor to carry out your work for you. The best way is to get recommendations from friends or family who have actually used the solicitor or conveyancer you're considering.
Can you clarify something for me?. My lawyer is not to blame but, my purchase conveyancing has been going on for months. The Local Authority Search from Banks and Clients was issued random date and we have agreed a date for me to move into the property on 6. My solicitor says that as she is on the Banks and Clients conveyancing panel she needs to reorder the searches as they are now out of date.
A precondition to being on the Banks and Clients approved panel is to comply with the CML Handbook Part 2 obligations (last updated for this lender on Banks and Clients)which specifies that a local authority search be not more than half a year old. You should nevertheless ask your lawyer to check whether something called ‘search validation’ indemnity insurance is acceptable to Banks and Clients.
Do all the firms listed on your search have online case tracking as I was under the impression that this was a precondition of being on the Banks and Clients solicitor panel?
No. There is no CML Part 2 or Building Society Association requirement relating to online case tracking. Some law firms operate such technology and some don't.
My conveyancers in Manchester have advised me that they can not locate my conveyancing file. To assist with my purchase I took out a mortgage with Banks and Clients. Is it case that being on the Banks and Clients conveyancing panel they need to have retained the file for a prescribed period?
It very much depends from lender to lender but many of the Terms and Conditions of Conveyancing Panel Appointment require the file to be held for a period of 6 years. That being said we have not seen a copy of the Banks and Clients Conveyancing Panel Terms. It might be worth you contacting Banks and Clients directly.
We expect to receive a DIP from Banks and Clients this week so we can work out what to offer on a property we like as otherwise we are dependent on web based calculators (which aren't taking into account credit checks etc).Do the Banks and Clients recommend a solicitor on the Banks and Clients conveyancing panel, or is it better to go independently
You will need to appoint solicitors independently although you'll need to choose one on the Banks and Clients conveyancing panel. The solicitor represents both you and the Banks and Clients through the process.
I have agreed a price on a flat I spoke to a lawyer recommended by my mum and he advised retaining a law firm approved by Banks and Clients. The estate agent recommended two local firms so I asked Banks and Clients if the 2 suggested solicitors are approved, which they are not. Banks and Clients pointed out that either firm can fill out the appropriate forms to become approved. Do I (1) save myself the aggravation and use one of Banks and Clients 's conveyancing panel solicitors (2) Use the local solicitor and accept there may be delays etc as they go through the approval process.
Ask Banks and Clients for conveyancing panel firms in your area. Lenders have them all over the country. You can also use our search tool at the top of this page to search for a lawyer on the Banks and Clients conveyancing panel based on location. If you particularly like the sound of one of the local lawyers that you have spoken to ask them if they would go onto Banks and Clients conveyancing panel as it may only take about 2-3 weeks. As long as they meet Banks and Clients’s requirements it can be a very simple job for the solicitor. Other stuff will be going on in parallel (as you are at an early stage) so it may not delay matters.
My fiance and I are spending time looking at houses and now considering a potential offer. Should I already have a conveyancer appointed at this stage? I I am planning to take a mortgage with Banks and Clients
It would be sensible to have your start your search soon rather than later. After you have chosen your lawyer and once your offer is accepted you can instruct them to work for you and pass their details on the the EA. As you are getting a mortgage with Banks and Clients , ask your prospective lawyers check they are on the Banks and Clients conveyancing panel otherwise they can't do the mortgage legal work.