Find an Approved Solicitor on the Topaz Finance plc
Topaz Finance Solicitor Panel Recently Asked Questions
My partner and I are FTBs. Within the 48 hours our lawyer has forwarded the sale agreement to sign with a detailed report with a view to exchanging next week. Topaz Finance have this morning contacted us to advise us that they have now hit a problem as our conveyancer is not on their approved list of lawyers. Is this a problem?
If you are buying a property with the assistance 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 Accreditation Scheme.
Your property lawyers should contact Topaz Finance and see if they can apply for membership of the Topaz Finance conveyancing panel, but if that is not viable Topaz Finance will instruct their own solicitors to act. You don't have to instruct a firm on the Topaz Finance conveyancing panel and you may continue to use your own solicitors, in which case it will likely add costs, and it will likely delay the transaction as you have another set of people involved.
I do hope you can help me. My solicitor is assuring me that he is legally obliged to apply for a Local Authority search as the firm are on the Topaz Finance conveyancing panel. The searches cost a lot of money. Can this be avoided?
You have limited options available to you. As you are taking a mortgage with Topaz Finance 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 Topaz Finance’s conveyancing panel appointment which obliges them to follow the CML Handbook requirements last updated Topaz Finance. even if you were a cash buyer you would be ill advised not to carry out a local authority search.
I note that you have a post code search directory listing solicitors on the Topaz Finance conveyancing panel. Do firms pay you a referral fee if I instruct them for my own conveyancing?
We are a listing service only for law firms wishing to communicate if they are on the Topaz Finance conveyancing panel or other lender panels. We do not charge referral fees to the any conveyancer that you subsequently appoint.
I was expecting to move into my flat two days ago. My solicitor is on the Topaz Finance conveyancing panel but has moved offices 8 weeks ago and had not informed Topaz Finance of their new address. Topaz Finance is now refusing to release my funds until such time as their systems are up to date with the correct details.
This is as unusual as it is unlucky. 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 Topaz Finance branch or your mortgage broker to see if they can help.
Do the majority of lenders operate their own panel of solicitors?
Many lenders do operate a restricted conveyancing panel but a lot of lenders allow any solicitors to join their panel so long as they meet their criteria. Each lender sets their own criteria. For example the Topaz Finance conveyancing panel requirements are different to Topaz Finance’s conveyancing panel requirements.
I recently had an offer accepted on a house. My financial adviser suggested a solicitor I paid an upfront payment of 225. Soon after the conveyancers contacted me sheepishly admitting that they were not on the Topaz Finance conveyancing panel. Am I right in thinking that I should be due a refund?
You should be able to recover this from the law firm if they were not on the Topaz Finance panel. They should have asked at the outset which lender you were obtaining a mortgage with. An important lesson to readers of this site is to check that the lawyers are on the appropriate lender panel.
My offer on house has been accepted, the seller does however have a dependent purchase. The vendors have offered on somewhere, but not been accepted yet, and have viewings of other properties booked. My conveyancing solicitor has been instructed. What do I do now? At what point should I appy for the mortgage with Topaz Finance?
It is usual to have concerns where there is a chain as you are unlikely to want to be too out of pocket too early (mortgage application is approx £1k, then survey/valuation, conveyancing search costs, etc). First you should check that your solicitor is on the Topaz Finance conveyancing panel. As to the next stages this very much depends on the circumstances of your case, desire for this property and on the state of the market. In a hot mortgage some buyers would pally for the mortgage with Topaz Finance and pay for the valuation and only if it comes back ok would they pay their solicitor to press on with searches.