I put down a deposit on a brand new property on a housing development and the developers are insisting I use the conveyancing solicitors that they recommend. Surely I can choose my own solicitor?
Sadly, this is commonly the case, as developers inevitably select their “favoured” solicitors for whatever reason. It remains an important principle in the buying and selling process in this country that all purchasers have a free choice of whom they wish to represent them in the important conveyancing process.
You have every right to choose your own solicitor and usually the reasons given for instructing the developer’s choice of solicitor will be somewhat debatable such as “they are familiar with the development and will therefore not raise unnecessary enquiries”, or “they have acted on a number of plots and therefore know the development well and can deal with the matter more quickly than a solicitor who is unfamiliar with the development”.
A buyer must be satisfied that he or she is instructing someone who will act purely in their best interests, promptly and diligently, and has the necessary expertise and experience to understand all types of property development, and the buyers must be sure that their choice of solicitor is going to give them independent advice.
Any specialist property solicitor will have the necessary experience to ensure that your interest will be protected and it is important that the public has a completely free and unfettered choice of legal representation. You are free to instruct anyone you wish to act for you.
* Emyr Pierce is Managing Partner of Emyr Pierce Solicitors in Rhiwbina, Cardiff, Western Mail Conveyancer of the Year, specialising in Domestic and Commercial Property. Contact www.emyrpierce.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org