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Why choosing the wrong solicitor could seriously damage your wealth

PUBLISHED: 17:06 09 August 2010 | UPDATED: 17:40 20 February 2013

Why choosing the wrong solicitor could seriously damage your wealth

Why choosing the wrong solicitor could seriously damage your wealth

Well known Radlett Estate Agent, Barry Allsuch tells how a motley bunch of below par conveyancing solicitors have conspired to wreak havoc amongst unsuspecting buyers and sellers.

Regular readers of Barrys monthly market report will know that he is not a shrinking violet when it comes to stating how it is.

This month he tells how, a motley bunch of below par conveyancing solicitors have conspired to wreak havoc amongst unsuspecting buyers and sellers. Thanks only to the super-human efforts his team, 5,000,000 of quality Radlett sales have now been exchanged, after being put in jeopardy by some sub-standard solicitors.

Extract from Barrys latest Market Report

Over the four decades I have been trading, I have developed unrivalled connections with dozens of commercially minded conveyancing solicitors. Many I have got to know socially and I am on first name terms with virtually every senior partner within a sizeable radius of both my offices. Even before a sale is concluded, we make it our business to recommend a brace of solicitors who have the all important local knowledge and have excellent communication skills.

We cannot (yet) insist that buyers and sellers follow our recommendations, but with our experience of good and bad conveyancers, most of our clientele follow our advice. Still, the odd maverick slips through the net.

Does any of this ring true?

1. 'Well thanks for the recommendation, but I want to use "anonymous" in Sunderland because I went to school with him 30 years ago.'

2. 'We used to row together at University.'

3. 'He/she is my second cousin and wont charge me' (second cousins who dont charge pass the file to a junior! which is understandable)

4. 'I'm using the Senior Partner who owes me a favour and is not charging me' (the Senior Partner again passes the file to an unknown underling who should really be dealing with parking fines!)

5. I found this conveyancing firm on the internet. My contact is Team 3. I can watch the progress of the sale on the internet, but cant actually ever talk to anyone!

We really struggle with these situations. These conveyancers rarely come to the phone; the university rower was actually a litigation chap who was always in court! All so amateurish and not what one requires to push through multimillion pound sales. These solicitors can not only slow a sale down to a snails pace, but exasperate all around them.

The worst case last month involved a firm in Devon. What such a firm knows about Philimore covenants and private roads in Radlett is beyond me and the deal was doomed to plod along. Our poor clients, who were buying and selling, who used this firm of solicitors due to a family connection, were so driven to distraction by the feebleness of their chosen firm, that the husband took a day off work and went with his wife to Devon to hopefully sign contracts and iron out a few conditions.

The firm were actually closed for lunch when the weary clients arrived after leaving Radlett, Hertfordshire early in the morning. Then, when they presented their deposit cheque, they were told that a bankers draft was required as a cheque for 75,000 would take four days to clear. To add insult to injury, the hapless solicitor said there was a covenant on the property dating back to 1904 that he did not understand and he was having trouble tracing the beneficiaries of the covenant.

Our client rang Paul Bloom,our Radlett Sales Manager and Associate, and cried Help! Paul explained that it was well known local knowledge that the beneficiary of the covenant was lost at sea in the mid 1930s and that Mr Peter Hayes, Senior Partner at Debenham Ottaways would give a declaration to this effect, in about thirty minutes. Contracts were then subsequently exchanged. All could have been completely avoided if a tried and tested local solicitor would have been used. I make no apologies for telling this dreadful tale.

Buying and selling properties is highly stressful and using a competent solicitor recommended by my company is a sure fire way to guarantee less stress and a positive result.

With great thanks and appreciation to Barry Allsuch at Barry Allsuch & Co in Radlett for allowing us to reproduce this extract from his latest market report.

If you would like to receive a copy of Barrys monthly report, please contact

their Radlett branch Tel: 01923 85 2333


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