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Written by rosalind renshaw

The collapse of Fridays Property Lawyers has led to a warning that brokers must be ultra wary when referring clients to conveyancing firms – even when the firms appear to be large and reputable.

Eddie Goldsmith, partner in Goldsmith Williams Solicitors, said that high-profile casualties in the sector such as Fridays, Hammonds Direct and Fox Hayes are “incredibly damaging” to the reputation of the conveyancing market.

Goldsmith said: “Fridays was long regarded as a substantial nationwide firm but, while the failure of such brands would once have been unthinkable, this trend is now becoming a regular event for the industry.

“Reputation is everything and from our experience over the past 25 years it is clear that clients expect a certain level of professionalism and reassurance. At a time when lenders are constantly tightening their panel criteria, it is crucial that brokers and legal services providers take steps to retain people’s faith in what we do.

“While there is no suggestion of any wrongdoing at Fridays, it goes without saying that if clients are referred to unreliable firms or those in crisis, it can be incredibly damaging to their perspective of the industry and relationship with all parties.

“The reality for brokers is that when they refer clients, they must conduct thorough due diligence on the activities of their chosen law firms, rather than assuming that the Solicitors Regulation Authority or other bodies are fulfilling that role on their behalf.”

John Malone, chairman of Premier Mortgage Service, echoed the warning. He said: “When operating in a recessionary period, everyone must be on their guard to ensure our business connections are fit and proper for purpose.  

“Clearly another high-profile casualty in the conveyancing legal sector further demonstrates how crucially important it is to know who we are dealing with.”


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    So their service may have improved some! Perhaps he may make a gesture and refund me the £1,000 approx, of refunds his staff have cost me.

    • 20 January 2011 14:50 PM
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    I find these comments totally unfound. We have been dealing with Goldsmith Williams for the best part of 8 years and have had nothing but complete support and more than complete competent service. Whenever we have asked for a call from either Mr Eddie Goldsmith or any other member of the GSW team for that matter, it has always been followed through and dealt with promptly.

    • 20 January 2011 14:20 PM
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    I am absolutely flabergasted at the above comments. I have used Goldsmith Williams with great success for the last 7 Years. We have tried other solicitors, due to Lenders prefernce and none of them have come close to the service we recieve from Goldsmiths.
    Eddie Goldsmith has always responded to my E-mails and calls(even when he has been on holiday)I would recommend Goldsmith Williams to anyone. They are fast, efficient and they have an excellent tracking system. Brokers in the current climate need a convayancing form they can trust.

    • 20 January 2011 12:34 PM
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    I used to deal with Goldsmith Williams years ago. They were only ever of use when dealing with a "Straight Forward" remortgage.

    On several occasions I had called them for costs before instructing them for a client, on cases that involved such as Postponement of 2nd Charges or in cases of Separation, and often they would bill the clients for considerably higher amounts at completion, leaving me to make up the differences to the clients in order to save my good reputation.

    Despite promises of phone calls from Eddie "Goldenballs" Goldsmith, to discuss the matters, the calls never came.

    Don't touch them unless the case will go through their sausage machine smoothly!

    • 20 January 2011 09:36 AM
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    So according to Eddie Goldsmith brokers should be more aware when referring clients to conveyancing firms.
    Did not he entice brokers business with giving leads from the defunct Leadbay?

    • 20 January 2011 09:26 AM
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