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By Kit Thompson

Solicitors: what do people think about them and their part in the lending process? At the moment, I am stuck in the middle of the classic ‘he said, she said’ situation between the borrower’s solicitor and the lender’s solicitor.

According to the borrower’s solicitor, he has provided replies to all the necessary enquiries and wants to exchange. The lender’s solicitor has written to me with a list of over a dozen outstanding items and the introducer wants me to try to sort this out so that the purchase transaction doesn’t fall over.

Anyone involved in the lending process has an idea of the general conveyancing requirements, but when it comes to deciding on technical points and two contradictory views from legal professionals, what chance does your humble broker have of breaking the deadlock?

This is an extreme example of the breakdown that can happen during the legal process and unfortunately the solicitors never seem to be the best at finding compromises. Am I the only broker to be told by a solicitor on an urgent case that they have written a letter to the other side?

Unfortunately, these are the cases that stick in your memory as the bad experiences always seem to have a bigger effect, but in the spirit of giving a balanced view, the best solicitors do their work unnoticed and without fuss. When you find one of these fine specimens, do not let them go, for they are priceless in getting deals over the line and keeping borrowers and brokers happy.

I am going to try a two-part approach to this week’s blog, (who said writer’s block?) and with the hype beginning to build around the World Cup – in a few weeks’ time it will be in full swing. Every publican that I speak to is hoping that England go on a successful run, as that means more bodies in the bar and more pints being sunk. No doubt sales of replica shirts is also closely linked to England’s results, but am I the only one that has become a little bit jaded about the whole thing?

I remember the excitement of World Cups when I was younger, with my first time watching England in Spain 1982. Mexico 1986 was OK, but Italy 1990 was the pinnacle as far as I am concerned. I was 21 years old, it was a warm summer and every match was watched in the local pub with a big crowd of mates. Platt’s last minute goal in extra time against Belgium, coming from behind to beat Cameroon and then the epic semi-final against Germany. Who can forget Gazza’s tears and the tension of the penalty shoot-out?

Maybe for the younger fans the more recent World Cups have been memorable, but as the Premier League has grown stronger, the national team seems to have weakened and we enter this World Cup at odds of around 30-1. Even that would appear to be generous given the conditions that will be encountered. So who is going to be your second team, just to maintain some interest for the latter stages?