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Sharing solicitors is just like garlic bread

Our launch of joint legal representation has caused a stir in the bridging market.

Most bridging loans are completed under separate legal representation where borrowers and lenders use different solicitors for conveyancing.This can create delays and increase the cost to the borrower and I can’t figure out why lenders inflict it on customers.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority code, which came into force in October 2011, is principles and outcomes-based rather than having prescriptive requirements. It includes examples of indicative behaviours, which tends to indicate compliance with the requirements.

The onus is on the appointed solicitor to be satisfied that they can act on a joint representation basis in view of the requirements of the code, and our solicitors have confirmed this to be the case.

We should not forget that residential bridging loans are secured against residential properties and most of the market operates on a joint legal representation basis.

Some lenders would have you believe that bridging is a mystical art that can be practised only by the chosen few, but that is not the case – bridging loans are like any other loan secured on property.

We are starting to see cases complete using joint legal representation and, as expected, the amount of hassle, time and cost for borrowers has reduced.

To paraphrase Peter Kay’s famous line in the television show Phoenix Nights, joint legal representation is like garlic bread – it’s the future.


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