FAQs : The Whistletree Conveyancing Panel
from members of the public
For what reasons would a law firm be removed from the Whistletree solicitor panel?
According to a recent survey report by the solicitors regulator three quarters of law firms had been excluded from a lender panel. The top reasons in order are :
- lack of transactions
- the lawyer is a sole practitioner
- as part of the HSBC panel reduction
- regulatory contact by SRA
- accidental removal. We are not aware of the specific or common criteria for removal by Whistletree
Our lawyer has discovered a legal deficiency with the lease for the flat we are purchasing. The other side have suggested title insurance as a solution. We are content with insurance and will pay for it. Our solicitor has advised that as he is on the Whistletree conveyancing panel he must ensure that the lender is happy with this solution. Who is the client here, us or Whistletree?
Just because you have a mortgage offer from Whistletree does not mean to say that the property will be meet their requirements for the purposes of a mortgage. Your lawyer has to ensure that the lease has to comply with the CML Handbook Requirements. You and Whistletree are the client. These conveyancing instructions must be adhered to by the Whistletree conveyancing panel who has to balance acting for you and Whistletree
I have been looking for competitive conveyancing fees. Can I be confident that all the firms that are identified on your site are on the Whistletree conveyancing panel?
The law firms listed on our site have advised us that they are on the Whistletree panel and agreed to advise us to take down their listing in the event of removal off of the Whistletree panel. To date we have not been informed by either a mortgage company or a member of the public that the data about a specific firm being on the Whistletree conveyancing panel is incorrect.
The lawyers that I appointed last week on my house acquisition in Manchester has suddenly closed. I only went with them because I needed a solicitor on the Whistletree conveyancing panel and my family lawyer was not. I gave my credit card details for them to take £175 for searches. What should be my next steps?
Assuming that you have an Estate Agent in the equation then inform them straight away so that they advise the vendors that there may be a slight delay due to reasons beyond your control. Hopefully they will be sympathetic and urge their lawyer to send a new set of papers to your new solicitors. You should appoint new lawyers that are on the Whistletree conveyancing panel and notify the lender. If you have paid over any money it will hopefully be held by the SRA as money in an intervened firm's bank accounts is transferred to the SRA. Then, the SRA or the intervention agent looks at the intervened firm's accounts to work out who the money belongs to. To claim your money you will need to contact the SRA. If the SRA cannot return money you are owed from the firm's bank accounts, or if they can only return part of the money, you can apply to the Compensation Fund for a grant. Your new solicitors should be in a position to help
Is the case that all CQS (Conveyancing Quality Scheme) solicitors on the Whistletree conveyancing panel?
A selection of banks and building societies now use the accreditation scheme as the starting point for Panel membership such as HSBC and Santander. CQS accreditation however gives no guarantee to lender panel acceptance. That being said,the Council of Mortgage Lenders have indicated that it is likely to become a pre-requisite for firms wishing to remain on their panels.
Do conveyancing solicitors on the Whistletree conveyancing panel work on a no move no charge basis?
On the whole 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 had an offer accepted on a property on the 20th January 2014, valuation was booked five days after, all came back fine. Conveyancer instructed, so all that was missing was my mortgage offer. Having made daily calls to Whistletree and chasing them on my offer I have now been told that my offer will not be issued unless the lawyer is on the Whistletree conveyancing panel. Are Whistletree entitled to hold back the Mortgage pending the lawyer being on the approved list?
Mortgage companies tend not to not issue a mortgage until they have details of a lawyer on their panel. It can take a few weeks for Whistletree to deal with your lawyers application to be on the Whistletree conveyancing panel. There's no guarantee that your solicitors will be accepted.