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approved by FirstDirect

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

Examples of recent questions relating to the First Direct Solicitor Panel

Much to my surprise I have been told by my financial adviser that my the law firm I have appointed is not on the First Direct Conveyancing panel. What can I do to be certain that this is indeed the case?
The first thing you need to do is to contact your lawyer directly. It is reasonable to expect your lawyer to advise you what has happened. If they are not on the panel they may recommend you to a firm that is on the conveyancing panel for First Direct.
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 First Direct was date stamped random date and we have agreed a date for me to move into the property on Tues etc. My lawyer has advised that as she is on the First Direct conveyancing panel she needs to redo the searches as they are now out of date.
One of the many conditions to being on the First Direct approved panel is to comply with the CML Handbook Part 2 obligations (last updated for this lender on First Direct)which states that a local authority search be not more than 6 months old. You should nevertheless ask your lawyer to check whether something called ‘search validation’ indemnity insurance is acceptable to First Direct.
Do all the licensed conveyancers and solicitor practices listed on your directory have online case tracking as I understood that this was a condition of being on the First Direct 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.
What happens if my solicitor is expelled from the First Direct Solicitor panel before completion?
The first thing to point out is that, this is a very rare occurrence. 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.
I was thinking of purchasing my friend’s property. Assuming we can agree a figure, what’s the best way to move forward? I hope to get a mortgage with First Direct. Is it possible to avoid using solicitors to save on the costs? My dad reckons back in the day he did a lot of it himself, just went into the land registry office and providing them with the info they needed himself
If you are getting a mortgage with First Direct involved you will need to appoint a solicitor on the First Direct conveyancing panel. We would not encourage you to both use the same solicitors' firm. There are clear conflict of interest issues and it's not going to make a huge difference to the speed of the overall process. So as not to hold things us you should pass on your solicitors details to First Direct. Feel free to use our search tool to look for a licensed conveyancer or solicitor on the First Direct conveyancing panel.
I have decided to exercise my right to buy my property off the council. I have a mortgage offer with First Direct. Conveyancing is new to me. Can I proceed without a solicitor easily? I think we can but we keep being told I should have one. Any advice?
It is not advisable proceed with a house purchase without a solicitor. The council's solicitor are not acting for you. You need a solicitor for a number reasons. One of which is to verify what plans the Council have for repairs and refurbishment for the next five years. Many leaseholders have been stung for contributions of thousands of pounds. In any event if you are getting a mortgage with First Direct you will need to appoint a solicitor on the First Direct conveyancing panel.
It is not clear whether my mortgage offer requires a lease extension . I have called into my local branch First Direct on various occasions and told it wasn't a problem and they would lend. My solicitor - who is on the First Direct 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
Your lawyer has to follow the CML Handbook Part 2 requirements for First Direct. Unless your lawyer obtains specific confirmation in writing that First Direct 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 First Direct to contact your lawyer in writing confirming that they will accept the remaining number of years left on the lease.