Service Charter

By Lorraine Imhoff

Written by Lorraine Imhoff

Homeward Legal was founded on the principle of offering the highest possible levels of legal service to home buyers and sellers.

In practice, it can be difficult to define precise service levels. The following standards form part of the commercial agreement between Homeward Legal and its solicitor partners. Solicitors are expected to meet or exceed the standards set out below:

Solicitors will:

  • be regulated by the SRA
  • maintain a fully valid, current and enforceable professional indemnity insurance policy with a minimum cover of £1m per claim or sufficient to cover the value of property transacted, whichever is the greater
  • not disclose to the Client or any other party any terms of this agreement outside of those required by its regulator

During the Transaction the Solicitor should adhere to the following service standards:

  • make an Introductory Client Call within 1 hour of receipt of Notification of Instruction
  • send the Client Care Pack to the Client on the day of Notification of Instruction
  • execute the appropriate steps of the Standard Conveyance
  • if the Standard Conveyance does not complete, the Solicitor will not levy a fee to the Client for legal work other than the initial Client Payment made
  • provide the Client with the name, direct email address and direct phone line of their Case Handler
  • provide telephone cover between 9.00am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday as a minimum
  • endeavour to use email communication in preference to postal communication wherever practicable
  • use all reasonable endeavours to effect an early exchange of contracts in all Transactions in accordance with the instructions received by the Client
  • in the case of new build property or repossessions – meet the specific time frame requirements of the Developer or Bank

Complaints procedure:

If a Client makes a complaint direct to Homeward Legal, Homeward Legal will:

  • advise Clients in advance of the Solicitor’s complaints procedure
  • respond to formal legal, technical or fee related complaints in writing within 24 hours of receipt; if not with a resolution, with a timescale as to when a resolution will be
  • notify the Introducer immediately if a formal complaint is received from an Introducer- referred Client
  • pass on the complaint to the Solicitor on the same working day
  • follow up with the Client and Solicitor to confirm the complaint has been resolved

Data Protection

(for the full Homeward Legal Data Protection Policy please see here)

Where the Solicitor receives personal data (as defined by the Data Protection Act 1998 (The Act)) from the Introducer, the Solicitor shall ensure that it fully complies with the provisions of the Act and only uses the data to fulfil its obligations under the contract.

It is the responsibility of the Solicitor to ensure they seek authority from the Client to use their data during the Transaction

The Solicitor shall indemnify the Introducer for any breach of the Act which renders the latter liable for any costs, claims or expenses.

Acting for Mortgage Lenders

It is preferred that the Solicitor is able to act for all Mortgage Lenders; however, it is accepted that this may be a hard condition for some ‘Solicitors’ to fulfil with membership of certain Mortgage Lender panels being difficult to obtain.  In the event that a Solicitor is unable to act for a specific Mortgage Lender it is imperative that the transaction is still able to proceed to completion without inconvenience to the Client.  Solicitors are therefore entitled to instruct another solicitor to act for the Mortgage Lender who is on the Mortgage Lender’s panel.  The Solicitor will be required to notify the Introducer of any Mortgage Lenders whose panel the Solicitor is on.  The Solicitor may not charge any additional fees to the Client where it has been necessary to instruct another solicitor to act on behalf of the lender.

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