I refer to the recent article in the August Journal.
I have recently had a transaction where I acted for clients who purchased a property using funds from one of the Yorkshire BS Group. The transaction settled in August 2012
The clients then split and I was asked to act for one of them in a buy out. He said he was going to use a broker to establish the best terms and I accepted the instruction. It turned out that he decided to continue to use Yorkshire (Accord Mortgages). I was then surprised to learn that I had been removed from their panel. I was informed of this by the client as he had put my details on his application form. This was in July 2013.
They invited me to reapply and I was turned down, with no reason being given. It seems there is no right of appeal. I was forced to withdraw from acting and the client’s choice of solicitor was limited to those on the Yorkshire panel. This is an established client, who I have now probably lost.
I have another long standing client who was selling and buying. He informed me that the Yorkshire had also told him that I was not on their panel after he put my details on his application form in connection with his purchase. This was the first I had heard that he was applying to the Yorkshire. I had already concluded on his sale. Again he was forced to turn to a second choice lawyer, for no other reason than the lender’s panel.
I note that the Law Soc has advised solicitors to check panel status before accepting instructions. With respect this is impossible advice to follow in most situations as, at the point of accepting instructions, most clients are not sure which lender they will be using.
You should also note that the information being given to you by Yorkshire is simply not true. I was removed from their panel within the one year period starting in August 2012- the exact date is unknown to me as they simply will not discuss or justify removal (or indeed re-instatement). The first I knew of my removal from the client, was in July 2013. Eleven months after I had acted for Yorkshire in a purchase.
It seems that the Law Soc just shrugs it shoulders when lenders remove solicitors from panels, and then advises solicitors to check panel status- as if this is somehow our fault. I do not feel that I am being properly represented by my professional body in this matter.