Choosing the right solicitor for your transactions is vital. This is true for a house purchase, buying a leasehold pub business or writing your will. The piece of legal work you want to do may seem simple enough but there may be any number of complications which need to be sorted out before you can proceed. Your solicitor needs to be experienced enough in the particular field of law to look out for and recognise any complications and then be efficient in dealing with them thoroughly.

All too often we have transactions taking far too long because someone in the legal chain does not know how to deal with a matter, does not deal with it thoroughly or inherits a badly handled legal situation. Sometimes these delays can kill the whole transaction.

Two recent examples involve refinancing. One client has been allowed to buy a Victorian house divided into five flats without his solicitor checking that the relevant planning permission and building regulations were in order: they weren’t.

Another client wanting to refinance his commercial premises several months after purchasing it, found that his solicitor had not done what he said he would do straight after purchase, i.e. remove a defunct leasehold interest on the Land Registry records. The refinance exercise should have taken two weeks to pay out: so far it has taken ten weeks and our client is still waiting.

So remember

  • Instruct a solicitor who is truly experienced in the relevant field
  • Ensure the solicitor’s firm is acceptable to the lender