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

Find an Approved Solicitor on the First Direct Conveyancing Panel

FAQs : The First Direct Conveyancing Panel

My Solicitor has never been on on the First Direct Conveyancing Panel. Is it possible for me to retain my preferred solicitor even though they are excluded from the First Direct approved list?
You have a number of options available to you here:
  1. Complete the purchase with your existing solicitors but First Direct will need to instruct a lawyer on the First Direct conveyancing panel. This will result in additional cost and potential delay.
  2. Get a new solicitor to act in the purchase, obviously checking they are on the First Direct conveyancing panel.
  3. Convince your lawyer to do everything within their powers to join the First Direct conveyancing panel
We are due to exchange on the purchase a house but as a result of damage from the recent storms I have agreed compensation from the seller of £3k approx by way of a reduction in the price. This was going to be dealt with as part of the conveyancing process but my mortgage company First Direct will not agree to this. Why was First Direct even consulted?
Your lawyer being on the First Direct conveyancing panel is duty bound to inform First Direct of any changes to the purchase price. If you were to refuse your lawyers to disclose the reduction to First Direct then they would have to discontinue acting for you and First Direct.
I see that you have a search directory identifying solicitors on the First Direct conveyancing panel. Do firms pay you a referral fee if I retain them for my own house purchase?
We are a listing service only for law firms wishing to communicate if they are on the First Direct conveyancing panel or other lender panels. We do not charge referral fees to the any conveyancer that you subsequently appoint.
The solicitors that I recently instructed on my house acquisition in Manchester has suddenly closed. They were on acting for me because I had to have a solicitor on the First Direct conveyancing panel and my previous lawyer was not. I paid them £200 on account. What should be my next steps?
Assuming that you have an Estate Agent in the equation then let them know straight away so that they advise the vendors that there may be a slight delay due to reasons beyond your control. Most sellers would be sympathetic and urge their lawyer to send a new set of papers to your new solicitors. You should appoint new lawyers that are on the First Direct conveyancing panel and notify the lender. If you have paid over any money it will hopefully be held by the SRA as money in an intervened firm's bank accounts is transferred to the SRA. Then, the SRA or the intervention agent looks at the intervened firm's accounts to work out who the money belongs to. To claim your money you will need to contact the SRA. If the SRA cannot return money you are owed from the firm's bank accounts, or if they can only return part of the money, you can apply to the Compensation Fund for a grant. Your new solicitors may be able to assist
How can we tell if a solicitor on the First Direct panel is any good?
obtaining recommendations is a good start. Before you go ahead check if they offer a no sale no fee offer. Also you often get what you pay for - a firm which quotes more will often provide a better service than one which is cheap as chips. We would always recommend that you speak with the lawyer conducting your transaction
Why might a lender such as First Direct withdraw a mortgage offer?
Lenders such as First Direct can withdraw their mortgage offer although this is unusual. If First Direct withdraw their offer they may or may not inform you or the lawyer as to the reasons why. There are various possible reasons but here are a few examples:
  • If the financial circumstances of the borrower have changed to the detriment and the First Direct has been notified
  • Situations where information provided by the borrower that enabled the lender to make a lending decision is fraudulent, incorrect or misleading.
  • Where to proceed with the Mortgage offer would be unlawful
  • Following advice from the property assessor on their lender panel or If the lender has doubts about the effectiveness of the valuation as a result of subsequent events or information received post valuation but pre completion
  • If the solicitor on the First Direct conveyancing panel acting for the applicant, borrower, mortgagor or guarantor cannot comply with First Direct ‘s instructions
My existing mortgage is with First Direct. My godfather retired last week and wants to pay off my mortgage. After First Direct is paid, I want to transfer the property to my mother's name; How long will it roughly take? Do we need two separate solicitors on the First Direct conveyancing panel? I do not intend to live at the property once the First Direct mortgage is discharged.
You will need a solicitor but they need not be on the First Direct conveyancing panel. You will need a solicitor to draw up the transfer and to deal with the Land Registry formalities. The only thing you need to consider is that by selling at an undervalue so ask your lawyer about the implications. There could be an inheritance tax issue if you die within 7 years of this. There's no capital gains tax for you as it is your main residence.