Kensington Mortgages – Panel Solicitors

A lot of mortgage lenders changed the structure of their panels of solicitors over the last four years so that only firms who are Conveyancing Quality Accredited may act for them on residential conveyancing transactions.

Ola Leslie Solicitors have been CQS accredited since February 2011 which was when the scheme was launched. We have always been on the Kensington Mortgages panel and our status has never changed.

Holding CQS accreditation is a core requirement for mortgage lenders when looking to appoint firms of solicitors onto their panels. Many law firms were removed from lenders’ panels as they were unable to comply with CQS standards and therefore could not obtain certification for their firms. The Law Society introduced this scheme in order to regulate good practice management standards and have firms adhere to prudent and efficient conveyancing procedures.

When granting CQS accreditation, the Law Society take the following into account (including but not limited to):

  • That the solicitors firm are insured with a reputable professional indemnity insurance provider;
  • If the individual solicitors within the firm have ever appeared before a Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal;
  • If the solicitors firm have had any negligence claims made against them; and
  • If the solicitors within their firm have carried out the mandatory yearly training which solicitors must carry out, and that this mandatory or additional training specifically relates to the conveyancing tests that the Law Society require for the yearly renewal to be sure that solicitors are up to date with current law and practise.

The scheme is not open to Licensed Conveyancers or Chartered Legal Executives.

The reason why mortgage lenders require firms who act for them to be CQS accredited is so that they can be sure that their interests are fully protected by having a knowledgeable and reliable solicitor act for them. It is also highly advisable for clients to choose a firm of solicitors who have this accreditation so that they can be sure that their matter is in safe hands and ensure that they don’t incur unnecessary expense when they realise part way through their conveyancing matter that their lawyer cannot act for their mortgage lender.

Clients aren’t always able to look into a law firm’s history in terms of negligence claims so this accreditation provides some reassurance that their matter will be carried out diligently. Before instructing a law firm, whether you have found them on google, by a recommendation from a friend or by a referral by your mortgage broker or estate agent, you should check if they possess CQS accreditation. Mortgage brokers and estate agents may not always know about this. Lenders who require firms to be on this scheme include Santander, Nationwide (and The Mortgage Works (TMW)), HSBC, Natwest and Leeds Building Society. There may be more lenders who require this which we are unaware of as we have always been members of most high street lenders’ panels without having our membership interrupted.

Please call us on 0207 183 0084 or email us on to request a fixed fee conveyancing quotation.

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For information on different types of conveyancing firms, please visit our page ”What makes a Good Quality Conveyancing Solicitor?”

Ayesha Leslie, Partner
Ola Leslie Solicitors