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By Robert Collins

1. What is the biggest obstacle in the way of completing a loan?
In commercial finance there are generally two sets of solicitors acting; the lender’s solicitor and the client’s solicitor. In my opinion, the interaction between the two parties who are dealing with the legal requirements is the biggest hurdle when completing a loan. It is therefore little surprise that the legal stage is when we experience the longest delays, and from an intermediary perspective, the process of two sets of solicitors seeming to work against each other can often be a frustrating one.

2. What is the best course of action to take when a team is taking too long to complete?
There are a significant number of solicitors who will not deal directly with the intermediary. In these instances we have to work with both the lender and the client to put pressure on the solicitors in order to find the most suitable and the most rapid solution. Often this will involve cutting through the ‘legalese’ to identify the specific issues and arriving at an acceptable solution for both sides.

3. How do you avoid obstacles before entering a deal?
I believe the most effective way of avoiding any hindrances before entering a deal is to ensure, wherever possible, that the intermediary gets its client’s solicitor to understand the needs of the lender as early in the process as possible. Lenders have started to recognise the issue and we have been receiving standard legal templates to assist with this process.

It can also be a help to encourage the clients to deal with a specialist solicitor who are experienced in commercial lending rather than an existing contact that may not appreciate the extra requirements of commercial lenders. Often lenders have a list of solicitors that they have worked with effectively before that are recommended to the client, but we still see a reluctance from clients to deal with a new firm.