Shoosmiths' seeks out new estate agency links

Shoosmiths & Harrison has opened its long-planned conveyancing link-up with Hambros Countrywide estate agents – and is already in talks with other estate agents and lenders about forming new associations.

Last week, the Northampton firm opened a new department, Property Direct, which will take referrals from the neighbouring Hambros' in-house Midlands conveyancing centre.

Partner Andrew Tubbs said Property Direct was involved in discussions with similar organisations about using the service. However, he declined give further details regarding the level of interest from other estate agents and lenders.

Shoosmiths has three conveyancing teams, each with seven members handling referrals from Hambros. Two more teams are due to begin operating in August.

The teams are headed by solicitors or licensed conveyancers, with paralegals doing much of the work and handling customer queries.

While neither side expects to act exclusively for either buyers or sellers, Hambros will deal mainly with the lenders.

Hambros has already established one in-house conveyancing centre in Woking, which is outsourcing work to EDC Lord. Another, covering the South West, is being opened with Eversheds in Cardiff in August.

By the end of the year, Hambros proposes to have six offices operating seven days a week covering the North West, South West and the South coast.