Any firm of two or more SRA* approved managers/partners is acceptable provided that the firm has CQS* (Conveyancing Quality Scheme) status.
*n/a in Scotland.
If the firm does not have CQS status, we will only accept solicitors who meet the following criteria:
- Must be a practice that has been established for a minimum of 10 years (where there have been mergers we must be satisfied that, where they were firms of a similar size, they both had a 10 year history or where it was more of a takeover that the larger firm meets the 10 year rule)
- The majority of the partners/SRA approved managers (i.e. greater than 50%) should have been fully qualified Solicitors for a minimum of 5 years.
- Where the solicitors acting are a branch of a firm that branch should have been established for a minimum of 5 years and the ‘local’ partner must have 5 years’ experience.
- The firm must have a minimum of 4 partners with an equitable interest whether by way of partnership agreement or, in the case of a limited company, by way of a shareholding.
- The Society will not use Licensed Conveyancers under any circumstances
- The Society will only instruct Solicitors who are registered with the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) and this will be validated by a search of the SRA website.
- In Scotland, the firm must be a member of the Law Society of Scotland.
- The Solicitors may not be subject to any disciplinary action from the Solicitors Regulatory Authority or similar.
For all loans to Limited Companies the Society will need separate legal representation at the cost of the borrower. We do accept a different partner acting in the same firm. The only exception is if the company is already a borrower with the Society, in which case we will allow the same Solicitor to act for us and the borrower.