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

Find an Approved Solicitor on the Virgin Money plc Conveyancing Panel

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On what basis would a firm of solicitors be excluded from the Virgin approved conveyancing panel?
A survey recently commissioned by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority found that three quarters of law firms had been removed from a lender panel. The most common reasons in order are :
  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. We are not aware of the specific or common criteria for removal by Virgin
Please assist. For no fault of my lawyer but, my purchase conveyancing has been going on for months. The Local Authority Search from Virgin was dated random date and we have agreed a date for me to move into the property on Tues etc. My solicitor informs me that as she is on the Virgin conveyancing panel she needs to reorder the searches as they are no longer valid.
A precondition to being on the Virgin approved panel is to comply with the CML Handbook Part 2 obligations (last updated for this lender on Virgin)which states that a local authority search be not more than half a year old. You should nevertheless ask your lawyer to check whether something called ‘search validation’ indemnity insurance is acceptable to Virgin.
I note that you have a search directory identifying firms on the Virgin 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 Virgin conveyancing panel or other lender panels. We do not charge referral fees to the any conveyancer that you subsequently appoint.
My conveyancers in Birmingham have advised me that no longer have my conveyancing file. At the time of my purchase I took out a mortgage with Virgin. Is it case that being on the Virgin conveyancing panel they need to have retained the file for a number of years?
Different lenders have different requirements but many of the Terms and Conditions of Conveyancing Panel Appointment require the file to be held for a period of 6 years. That being said we have not seen a copy of the Virgin Conveyancing Panel Terms. It might be worth you contacting Virgin directly.
When it comes to lenders such as Virgin do solicitors have to be pay a fee to be on the conveyancing panel?
We are not aware of any lender fees to be on their panel although some do charge an administration charge to deal with the processing of the conveyancing panel application.
Last month we had a mortgage agreed in principle with Virgin. Solicitors have been chosen? What is the average time that one could expect to receive a mortgage offer from Virgin?
Some lenders take longer than others. Have Virgin done the survey? Have you advised Virgin as your lawyers details and checked that your lawyer is on the Virgin conveyancing panel? It is not unusual for a mortgage offer to take a month to come through
My offer on house has been accepted, but there is a chain. The vendors have offered on somewhere, but not been accepted yet, and have viewings of other properties in the pipeline. My conveyancing solicitor has been instructed. What should be my next step? When should I get the mortgage app going with Virgin?
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 Virgin 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 Virgin and pay for the valuation and only if it comes back ok would they pay their solicitor to press on with searches.