Financial advisers agree to refer conveyancing clients

More than 2,000 independent financial adviser are to refer clients wanting conveyancing services to one of 170 law firms following a deal struck between IFA Portfolio and Legal Marketing Services (LMS).

Under the IFA Portfolio agreement, members will offer clients a fixed-fee conveyancing service at any one of LMS's 350 member companies in the UK.

Clients will be charged £245 for a purchase and £195 for a sale (both plus VAT), disbursements and a £20 IFA handling fee. There is an inclusive £290 fee for a remortgage.

The IFA group represents just over a third of the financial services sector, with its members dealing with around 40,000 mortgages worth £2.5bn every year.

“We have got a fairly hefty slice of the market just waiting to be tapped,” said IFA marketing manager Sam Smith.

The deal is also a significant step for LMS, the UK's largest legal marketing network, whose members include Manchester-based practice Pannone & Partners and Bristol firm Bevan Ashford.

LMS managing director Denise Ballard said that all conveyancing transactions would be dealt with by the solicitor closest to the client and monitored through its head office for speed and efficiency of service.

Established by six firms in 1991, LMS will have more than 200 members by the end of the year. The organisation, which also takes referrals from three mortgage lenders, has deliberately kept a low profile in the past largely at the request of lenders.

But it has responded to the emergence of new conveyancing initiatives by groups such as Hambro Countrywide and First American Title Insurance by deciding to market itself more aggressively.