The problem of rip-off panel solicitor charges continues with limited panel solicitors appointed by mortgagees, particularly the smaller ones. It minimises competition and the public are consequently being charged disproportionate fees for the work on the mortgage alone.

We are on the panel of most major lenders, but my former articled clerk (now a solicitor) had to go to a small lender’s panel solicitor (and they are limited in number) and is being quoted £900 inclusive of VAT for doing the legal work on the mortgage only, with me doing all the conveyancing work on the transaction. In this case it means the lender panel mortgage solicitors are paid almost as much for the mortgage work alone as I am for doing the entire conveyancing work on the purchase.

This is unacceptable.

Peter Mason-Apps, Mason-Apps Smallmans & Co, Maidenhead