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approved by St James Place

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

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My financial adviser has says he needs my law firm’s panel reference for the St James Place conveyancing panel. Can you suggest how I find this out. I have e-mailed my local St James Place office but they cant find it on their system.
You are best placed to get this information from your conveyancing lawyer. They should have a central record lender panel numbers including the St James Place panel reference.
My lawyer has identified a difference between the assumptions in St James Place’s home valuation report and what is revealed within the title deeds. My lawyer informs me that as he is on the St James Place conveyancing panel he needs to check that the lender is OK with this discrepancy and is still content to lend. Is my solicitor’s stance legitimate?
A precondition to being on the St James Place approved panel is to comply with the CML Handbook requirements (last updated for this lender on St James Place) which do require that your lawyer disclose any incorrect assumptions in the lender’s valuation report and the legal papers. Should you refuse to allow your lawyer to make the appropriate notification then your lawyer will have no choice but to discontinue acting for both parties.
Do all mortgage companies provide you with an approved list of solicitors? How do you know who is on the St James Place conveyancing panel?
The law firm practices themselves provide us confirmation that they are on the St James Place conveyancing panel as opposed to being supplied with a list from St James Place directly.
Please explain the implications if my solicitor is removed from the St James Place Solicitor panel prior to the completion date?
The first thing to point out is that, 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.
Do conveyancing lawyers on the St James Place conveyancing panel work on a no sale no fee basis?
In the main there are no requirements by lenders for their firms to operate on a no-sale-no-fee basis. There a small number of lenders who operate a very restricted conveyancing panel managed by a third party company (often termed in the industry as a ‘gatekeeper’). That third party may impose certain conditions such as non-sale-no fee on the panel firms. If you require this as a condition of your conveyancing then you should check with the conveyancing firm that this is part of their service
I am buying a property where the roof has a solar panel. Solicitors conducting should look into this right? Will my lender St James Place be concerned
As your lender is St James Place your lawyer must to check the St James Place conveyancing instructions contained in the Part of CML Handbook for St James Place . The CML Handbook contains minimum requirements for solar panel roof-space leases, and solicitors are required to report to St James Place where a lease does not meet these requirements. The requirements relate to the installation of panels on properties in England and Wales. Requirements for Scotland are due in the near future.
My brother and I have had an offer accepted on a house I spoke to a conveyancer recommended by my uncle and he advised retaining a property lawyers approved by St James Place. The estate agent recommended two local firms so I asked St James Place if the 2 suggested solicitors are approved, which they are not. St James Place 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 St James Place 's conveyancing panel solicitors (2) Use the local solicitor and accept there may be delays etc as they go through the approval process.
Ask St James Place 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 St James Place 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 St James Place conveyancing panel as it may only take about 2-3 weeks. As long as they meet St James Place’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.