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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

Frequently asked questions relating to the First Direct Conveyancing Panel

Is the fact that my conveyancer is not identified on the First Direct Conveyancing panel that there is a problem with the quality of his conveyancing?
It would not be wise to jump to that conclusion. There are all sorts of perfectly reasonable explanations. A recent report by the solicitors regulator indicated 76% of law firms surveyed had been removed from at least one lender panel. The top 3 reasons are as follows: (1) lack of transactions (2) the lawyer is a sole practitioner (3) as part of the HSBC panel reduction (4) regulatory contact by SRA (5) accidental removal. If you are concerned you should simply call the firm and ask them why they are no longer on the approved list for First Direct.
I do hope you can help me. My conveyancer is assuring me that he is legally obliged to order a Local Authority search stemming from the fact that the firm are on the First Direct solicitor panel. The searches cost a lot of money. Can this be avoided?
You have limited options available to you. Given that you are taking out a loan with First Direct your lawyer has to comply with their conditions as set out in their version of the CML Conveyancing Handbook. Your lawyer would have previously signed the Terms and Conditions of First Direct’s conveyancing panel appointment which obliges them to follow the CML Handbook requirements last updated First Direct. even if you were a cash buyer you would be ill advised not to carry out a local authority search.
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 conveyancing panel?
The Council of Mortgage Lenders or BSA do not require online case tracking. Some law firms operate such technology and some don't.
I was due to move into my dream home two days ago. My lawyer’s firm is on the First Direct conveyancing panel but has moved offices in the past couple of months and had not informed First Direct of their new address. First Direct is now refusing to release my funds as the information from the solicitors isn't correct.
This is a rare situation indeed. The majority of lender Terms of Conveyancing Panel Appointment specifically oblige the solicitor to inform the lender of an address change. Your solicitor needs to treat this with the utmost urgency. Do speak with or register your concern with the senior partner (assuming he or she is not your direct lawyer). Most lenders would be reasonable in this situation and expedite the resolution of this issue. It may be prudent to enlist the help of your local First Direct branch or your mortgage broker to see if they can help.
I have today made my last payment due on mortgage with First Direct. I assume I don't need a solicitor on the First Direct panel to remove the mortgage at the Land Registry. Please confirm
If you have finished paying off your First Direct mortgage they may send you evidence showing that you have paid it off. Alternatively they may notify the Land Registry directly. The Land Registry need to see this evidence before they will remove the First Direct mortgage from the register. First Direct,and any evidence they send you, will determine the action you need to take. In cases where no conveyancer is acting for you and you have paid off your mortgage: but are not moving to another property where the First Direct has sent the Land Registry the discharge electronically, and the First Direct has instructed the Land Registry to do so The Land Registry will send you a letter confirming that your First Direct mortgage has been paid off.
Intending to buy a house with a mortgage with First Direct. I have received an online quote from a licensed conveyancer, which states: "There will be no charge for dealing with the Building Society if you are obtaining a mortgage". I take this to mean that there will be no additional fee if the solicitor is on the First Direct conveyancing panel. I wanted to make sure it means there will be no additional fees for dealing with the mortgage.
They are simply saying that the cost for acting for the lender is included in the fee being quoted. It is worth you checking that they are on the First Direct conveyancing panel
Next month my fiance and I are taking a long lease of a penthouse in Hendon. Conveyancing solicitors in Hendon need to begiven the go-ahead. My friendrecommended that we check that the property lawyer in Hendon is on the First Direct list of approved conveyancing firms. Is this right?
It is not that case that all Hendon conveyancing solicitors are on the First Direct conveyancing panel. Click here to locate a Hendon conveyancing lawyer on the on the First Direct panel.