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Moving house is a stressful busines. You need a friendly, professional, competent, honest solicitor to represent you.
That rules out Countrywide in our view (or C**pwide as we found out they are called in the trade). We were lucky, as Countywide subcontracted our purchase to another company (who were great) but unfortunately Countrywide represented the vendor as well.
We found school-boy errors on documents sent to our solicitor, delays in passing on information, and blatant lying that documents had been posted. We were told that the vendors were ready to exchange - when our side was ready, we found it wasn't true. We only managed to get our purchase through by threatening to pull out and suddenly, as if by magic, documents appeared.
Our advice from bitter experience - if you are buying a house, make it a condition of the purchase that no-one in the chain uses Countrywide.