Hammonds loses out as Halifax reviews panel

Hammond Suddards Edge has been dropped from Halifax’s repossession litigation and repossession sales panel, allowing Wragge & Co to scoop new work.

Hammonds was carrying out repossession work through its bulk property outfit Hammonds Direct.

A source close to the repossession panel said that the Halifax division of recently-merged HBOS spends between £6m-£8m a year on legal fees for repossession sales and repossession litigation. It is also understood that before the panel was reviewed, Hammonds received a significant share of the work.

Wragges is the only new addition to the panel, although DLA is returning to it after a three-year break during which the firm handled other property work for Halifax.

A number of other national firms have been reappointed to Halifax’s repossession panel. These are Walker Morris, Shoosmiths and small property firm First Title.

Wragges property partner, and client partner for Halifax, Richard Ellison said: “Wragge & Co now provides litigation advice to the three main divisions of HBOS – Halifax, Bank of Scotland and Birmingham Midshires. We won the appointment following two tender presentations. Our advanced IT capability was also an important factor in our success.”

Hammonds Direct partner Lucci Dammone said: “I suppose it’s disappointing to not be successful in any retendering process, but the focus of our practice is more on remortgaging than repossession.”

Hammonds remains on the legal panel run by Halifax’s remortgaging department. “This is the expanding side of the business,” Dammone added.