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Lawyer Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) in The Good Wife; a British couple has applied to 20 law firms, without success.Lawyer Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) in The Good Wife. A British couple has applied to 20 law firms for advice without success. Photograph: CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

As part of the process it was identified that the loan would be of benefit to me personally, as some of the funds would be used to service a loan in my name, while the asset we are securing (our house) is held in mine and my wife’s names. Accordingly, we were required to ensure that my wife received independent legal advice so she was aware of the implications.

We contacted at least 20 law firms but none were willing to assist, saying that this work is “a low fee for high risk”.

I am at a stalemate with the bank as funds are pending the receipt of the above legal certificate. I feel the bank is trying to enforce a condition of lending that is unachievable in practice. CC, Bristol

Lenders are under stringent rules to ensure they lend responsibly, but it seems the legal profession isn’t prepared to give advice. A refusal to act for your wife from more than 20 solicitors appears pretty conclusive.

We suggested to HSBC that it should consider another independent source such as an IFA or Citizen’s Advice, but it is adamant that it must be a solicitor. A spokesperson for the bank said: “In a situation like this we require that the customer obtains independent legal advice to ensure they are treated fairly, they are protected should anything happen in the future, and we are lending responsibly. We are actively looking at ways in which we can better support customers through this process.”

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