FIBA, the trade body for finance professionals, has launched a professional partners panel to provide advisers with a database of legal firms, which have the necessary knowledge and expertise to handle commercial, bridging and other specialist lending requirements.
It will be of particular value in helping members choose suitable legal representation for their customers. Commercial valuers will also appear on the panel. Suitable firms are vetted by a panel of FIBA broker firms.
FIBA executive chairman, Adam Tyler has called for law firms across the UK operating in the specialist property market to join FIBA and the panel.
He said: “One of the continuing frustrations that advisers continue to face is not being able to introduce a customer to a range of legal firms, which actually have the relevant experience and expertise to deal effectively with the requirements for commercial or specialist property transactions.
“In meetings with FIBA members, lenders, the wider adviser community and those lawyers who act for the lenders again and again, we are hearing about cases where the law firm in question just does not have the necessary sector knowledge to provide an efficient and timely service.
“Therefore, FIBA is taking a lead in establishing its Professional Partners Panel of legal firms that can demonstrate their competency in the area of commercial transactions and provide FIBA members with an increasingly valuable resource to match their choice of customer lending solution.”
Tyler added: “Our research shows that professional advisers regard poorly prepared law firms as one of their particular bugbears.
“In establishing our professional partners panel, FIBA is demonstrating its proactivity on behalf of members with another market leading initiative.”
Joe Middleton, partner at Lightfoots Solicitors, said: “Having worked closely with a number of the FIBA members for several years and as a firm who ensure the right solicitor with the right skill set is matched to the work we do, we are delighted to feature on the professional partners panel.
“Legal support is a crucial part of any lending process but so often industry tailored legal support is what makes the difference.
“A platform for solicitors who can add value to this sector is hugely beneficial to all parties whether they are brokers or lenders.
“Identifying those with the right legal background and understanding can only improve conversion rates, timelines and importantly the strength and reliability of the security for lenders.”