Separate Representation - what could this mean for you?

Separate Representation is where your mortgage lender requests to use a different conveyancing lawyer to the one you have appointed and usually asks you to cover their legal fees, which could run into hundreds of pounds.

The following article is going to answer the most common questions about separate representation and explain how it could affect you. If you are worried you might need separate representation and are considering using In-Deed for your conveyancing then please call a legal advisor on 0330 100 2322 or email We’ll be able to tell you whether you could incur extra fees and if so how much everything will cost.


Understanding what seperate representation means for you

What will happen if the lender is separately represented?

Should I change lawyer?

Which lenders are In-Deed’s lawyers approved by?

Why would I need separate representation if I receive a HSBC mortgage?


Understanding what separate representation means for you

The majority of lenders will be more than happy to use the lawyer/conveyancer you have appointed for yourself as it makes the process, faster, cheaper and easier for everyone involved. Lenders are able to do this by having a panel of “approved” law firms and as long as you instruct a solicitor/conveyancer from one of these approved firms you will not need separate representation.

What will happen if the lender is separately represented?

Before the mortgage funds are released the lender’s lawyer will issue a list of requirements to your lawyer. Your lawyer will then have to ensure that each requirement is fulfilled to the lender’s lawyer’s satisfaction.

The main disadvantages of separate representation are:

  1. The buyer will be required to pay for their lawyer’s fees and their lenders lawyer’s fees, which could potentially add hundreds of pounds to the legal bill.
  2. The involvement of a third party (the lender’s lawyer) could lead to delays.

Should I change lawyer?

The fact that the lender insists on being separately represented should not necessarily deter you from instructing your lawyer of choice. You may have a lawyer who has acted for you for a number of years who you trust and want to continue using or you may have found one that offers a service, which you can’t get elsewhere. Using a lawyer of your choice will not mean that your mortgage is not approved, but you should be aware of the potential issues.

Which lenders are In-Deed’s lawyers approved by?

In-Deed’s lawyers are all highly qualified, trustworthy and skilled, which means that they are approved by all lenders except HSBC (see more info below). The only other instance where an issue may arise is if your mortgage broker has negotiated a special mortgage rate, with the condition you use their solicitors. But if you are worried please do not hesitate to contact us, we will double check whether you will need separate representation and report back as quickly as possible.

Why would I need separate representation if I receive a HSBC mortgage?

To try and protect themselves against mortgage fraud HSBC have recently decided that all their customers will need separate representation if they decide to use a solicitor other than those introduced by them and their panel manager Countrywide.

This is an industry wide problem and you will incur separate representation fees for any alternative solicitor you choose to use.

As you can imagine this is affecting a large number of HSBC mortgage customers and because the change is very recent it is difficult to predict exactly how much this will impact your conveyancing.

What In-Deed are doing is monitoring all our HSBC mortgage clients very closely and providing HSBC clients with the law firm, which has the most experience in dealing with the lender. Our online system will keep delays to an absolute minimum and our promise to update you regularly means you will never be left in the dark.

If you are receiving a HSBC mortgage and are thinking of working with In-Deed or already are then please do not hesitate to contact the In-Deed team on 0330 100 2322 or email We’ll be able to advise you of the impact and the additional fees involved.


On 29th August 2012 HSBC changed their mortgage lending rules and admitted CQS accredited law firms onto their conveyancing panel. This means you may no longer need separate represention if you take out a HSBC mortgage and decide not to use their conveyancing service. Please read the following article: HSBC September Conveyancing Update for more information


Related Conveyancing Articles:
HSBC Mortgage Changes! - Is Your Conveyancing Affected?
Worried about mortgage lending changes? - In-Deed's property lawyers explain all!
HSBC Mortgages to accept CQS conveyancing solicitors in August

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