Find an Approved Solicitor on the Britannia
Britannia Conveyancing Panel : Questions and Answers
My husband and I are first time buyers. Within the 48 hours our conveyancer has sent a preliminary report and documents to look through in anticipation of exchanging contracts shortly. Britannia have this evening contacted us to inform me that they have now hit a problem as our conveyancer is not on their approved list of lawyers. Is this a problem?
When purchasing a property with the benefit of a mortgage it is usual for the purchaser's solicitors to also act for the purchaser's lender.
In order to act for a bank or building society a law firm has to be on that lender's conveyancing panel. An application has to be made by the law firm to the lender to become a member of the lender's panel and there are increasingly strict criteria which the firm has to satisfy and indeed some lenders now require their panel members to be part of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme.
Your property lawyers should contact Britannia and see if they can apply for membership of the Britannia conveyancing panel, but if that is not viable Britannia will instruct their own lawyers to represent them. You don't have to instruct a firm on the Britannia conveyancing panel and you may continue to use your own solicitors, in which case your legal fees may increase, and it may delay matters as you have another set of people involved.
I am purchasing a newly constructed duplex and my lawyer is advising me that she is duty bound to disclose incentives from the developer as her practice is on the Britannia conveyancing panel. I am on a tight deadline to sign contracts and my preference is not to delay matters. Is my lawyer right?
You should not exchange unless you have advised to do so by your lawyer. A precondition to being on the Britannia approved panel is to comply with the CML Handbook requirements (last updated for this lender on Britannia). The CML Conveyancing Handbook requires that your lawyer have the appropriate Disclosure of Incentive form completed by the developer and accepted by your lender.
I am buying a property and need a conveyancing solicitor in who is on the Britannia conveyancing. Could you point me in the right direction as regards a firm?
Our service is a directory service for firms who wish to be listed as being on the approved conveyancing panel for Britannia . We don’t recommend any particular firm.
Please explain the implications if my lawyer’s firm is suspended from the Britannia Solicitor panel prior to the completion date?
First, this is very unlikely to happen. In most cases even where a law firm is removed off of a panel the lender would allow the completion to go ahead as the lender would appreciate the difficulties that they would place you in if you have ti instruct a new solicitor days before completion. In a worst case scenario where the lender insists that you instruct a new firm then it is possible for a very good lawyer to expedite the conveyancing albeit that you may pay a significant premium for this. The analogous situation is where a buyer instructs a lawyer, exchanges contracts and the law firm is shut down by the regulator such as the SRA. Again, in this situation you can find lawyers who can troubleshoot their way to bring the conveyancing to a satisfactory conclusion - albeit at a cost.
In what circumstances might Britannia amend or withdraw their mortgage offer?
Lenders such as Britannia can withdraw their mortgage offer although this rarely happens. In the unlikely event that Britannia withdraw their offer they may or may not inform you or the lawyer as to their reasoning. There are various possible reasons but here are a number of examples:
Where information comes to Britannia ‘s attention regarding the customers or the security that they were not aware of prior to offer that affects their original decision to lend
A cashback to the buyer, or | part of the price includes a non-cash incentive to the buyer (eg paid stamp duty land tax),or | any indirect incentive (cash or non cash) or rental guarantee, of which the lender was previously unaware
Where the sale is not at arms length for value to unconnected persons
Where the lender is on notice of a restriction or a right of pre-emption which is not at market value
If the lender reasonably believe that the applicant, borrower, mortgagor or guarantor is insolvent or is about to become insolvent or has or will have a petition presented or if any one or all enter into any arrangement with their creditors generally or if any one or all should suffer a material change in their financial circumstances
I can not work out if my mortgage offer requires a lease extension . I have called into my local branch Britannia on numerous occasions and told it wasn't a problem and they would lend. My solicitor - who is on the Britannia conveyancing panel- telephoned and was told not they would not lend in accordance with their CML Handbook minimum lease term requirements. I simply dont know who is right
As long as the conveyancer is on the Britannia panel she or he must comply with the CML Handbook requirements for Britannia. Unless your lawyer obtains specific confirmation in writing that Britannia will go ahead your lawyer has no choice but to refrain from exchanging contract and committing you to the purchase. We would suggest that you ask Britannia to contact your lawyer in writing confirming that they will accept the remaining number of years left on the lease.
Me and my partner are acquiring a flat in Hendon. Conveyancing solicitors in Hendon need to beretained. My brother-in-lawrecommended that we make sure that the property lawyer in Hendon is on the Britannia approved list of lawyers. Is this right?
A limited percentage of Hendon conveyancing firms are on the Britannia conveyancing panel. Click here to find a Hendon conveyancing practitioner
on the on the Britannia list of approved conveyancing firms.