St James Place Conveyancing Lender Panel Compliance Tool

Lexsure’s COMPLETIONmonitor is an online pre- and post-completion checklist for residential conveyancing lawyers. Supported by the Council of Mortgage Lenders and PI insurers such as AmTrust. It is a unique risk management tool.

This system facilitates the way you can demonstrate to lender panels that you are, and can stay fully compliant with their requirements, with automatic updates on St James Place’s changes. Notwithstanding that utilising the tool is not a prerequisite for St James Place , demonstrating you can stay up to date with St James Place’s Handbook requirements is a helpful support to your panel application and, just as importantly, protect your panel status.

COMPLETIONmonitor creates real-time alerts, automatically produces regulatory and CQS reports, and will improve your firm's efficiency. It is also user friendly, cost-effective and, for many firms, leads to a PII saving.

Find a Law Firm approved by St James Place

Lenders often change their requirements. The UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook requirements from St James Place are not guidelines, they are instructions from a client. As with many clients, instructions can change - and they do change, frequently:

A Timeline of Policy Changes


Since 2008, St James Place has made 29 revisions or additions to sections of their version of the CML Handbook.
That equates to a section change every 94.1 days. In total, 12% of the sections of P2 of the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook for St James Place have been changed since 15/12/2008.

To find out more about lender panel compliance,

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St James Place Conveyancing Panel Recently Asked Questions from members of the public

I am in the process of selling my house and the estate agent has just texted me to say that the purchasers are swapping conveyancer. The reason given is that St James Place will only engage with property lawyers on their approved list. Why would a big named mortgage company only work with certain law firms?
Banks have always had an approved set of law firms they are willing to work with, but in the past few years big names such as HSBC, have reviewed and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have worked with them for decades.

Banks blame a rise in fraud by way of justification for the cull – criteria have been tightened and a smaller panel should be easier to keep an eye on. No lender will say how many solicitors have been dropped, claiming the information is commercially sensitive, but the Law Society says it is being contacted daily by practices that have been removed from panels, or have other concerns about them. Some do not even realise they have been dropped until contacted by a borrower who has instructed them as might be the situation in your buyer’s case. Your purchasers are unlikely to have any sway in the decision.

My lawyer is asking me for ID documents saying that this forms part of his requirements as a solicitor on the St James Place Conveyancing panel. Can this be correct?
Anti-terror and anti-money-laundering rules require solicitors and licensed conveyancers to verify the identity of the person or body they are dealing with before they can accept their conveyancing business. The Client Care letter that you need to sign will no doubt confirm this. Your lawyer is right that St James Place also require certain documents to be viewed. If a you refuse to provide ID verification documents, your conveyancer would not be able to accept instructions from you. Your lawyer also has obligations to obtain certain documents in accordance with St James Place CML Handbook requirements last updated on St James Place
Having used your search tool I can't find the lawyer I was hoping to instruct as being on the St James Place conveyancing panel. My lawyer has said that they are on the St James Place approved panel. How can I be sure given that they are not listed on your directory?
Not all firms are yet listed on our lender panel search tool which is still relatively new. Law firms are listing on a daily basis and it is probably the case that your lawyer is on the St James Place conveyancing lawyer and you should probably take them at their word. Please do feel free to suggest that they completing their listing on our site as it would only cost them £1 a month to list themselves as being on the St James Place solicitor panel.
My house is up for sale and I have a buyer. Does my solicitor have to be on the St James Place conveyancing panel in order to deal with redeeming my mortgage?
Ordinarily, even if your lawyer is not on the St James Place conveyancing panel they can still act for you on your sale. it might be that the lender will not release the original deeds (if applicable and increasingly irrelevant) until after the mortgage is paid off. You should speak to your lawyer directly before you start the process though to ensure that there is no problem as lenders are changing their requirements fairly frequently at the moment.
Do conveyancing solicitors on the St James Place conveyancing panel work on a no move no charge basis?
There is generally 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 package
Do most banks 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 St James Place conveyancing panel requirements are different to St James Place’s conveyancing panel requirements.
After shopping around on the internet I have found a solicitor having made sure that they are on the St James Place conveyancing panel. Does my lawyer arrange the survey of the property? Or Having digested plenty of house buying,I note that it is considered advisable to get your house surveyed prior to buying it. When I asked my solicitor - who is on the St James Place conveyancing panel - on this she said they don't do this and I need to contract an independent surveyor. is that correct?
St James Place will need an independent valuation of the property. Your lawyer will not arrange this. Usually St James Place will appoint their own surveyor to do this, and you will have to pay for it. Remember that this is a valuation for mortgage purposes and not a survey. You may wish to consider appointing your own surveyor to carry out a survey or prepare a home buyers report on the property. It is up to you to satisfy yourself that the property is structurally sound before you buy it. If the survey or report reveals that building work is needed, you should tell your solicitor. You may wish to renegotiate with the seller. or Your lawyer will not organise the survey but they may be able to put you in touch with a local one that they recommend. RICS offers a find a surveyor service (just google it) where you can search for a qualified surveyor by postcode. As you are getting a mortgage with St James Place you could contact your them to see if they have a list of approved surveyors.