Free Legals: No such thing as a free lunch

Published: 06/02/2012

With many of us looking to pinch the pennies and pounds as much as we possibly can, it is understandable why the pull of free legals can be strong. However, in a world where you tend to get what you pay for, free legals can come at a price.

In the current, competitive climate, a number of lenders are offering free legals as a further incentive for clients to take up their services. However, with lenders in the mortgage business to make money, the concept of free legal advice is not always what it seems; these ‘generous’ freebies are often covered by extra costs hidden in other charges.

Of course we will discourage the use of free legals, the sceptics amongst you will say. However, the fact remains that a free legals solicitor is appointed to look after the interests of the lender and not those of the client. This leaves your client with no legal representation so should anything go wrong, the client has no one to turn to or any right of redress.

Free legals also only apply to simple cases; additional work, including transfers or leasehold contracts, are likely to end with your clients being landed with a big bill.

At Goldsmith Williams, we appreciate everyone is feeling the financial strain but this doesn’t mean clients have to leave themselves legally vulnerable. Our remortgage fee, for example, is just £299 including VAT and standard disbursements whilst our sale and purchase fees start from just £399 plus VAT and disbursements.

Content correct at time of publication

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