Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
For the avoidance of doubt, do I understand correctly that the freeholder is still prepared to move forward with the sale but it is just your solicitor who does not feel able to act any further please?
yes the freeholder and lease holder are prepared to continue it is our solicitor he says he does not have the expertise ( after 2 years)
It is possible to invoke the statutory procedure at any point but it may not be sensible to do so at this stage if you have reached an agreement you are all happy with. The reason being that in invoking the statutory procedure, the landlord has the right to appoint a surveyor to provide a valuation for the freehold interest which, having served a statutory notice, you as tenants are liable to pay the costs of that surveyor. in addition, that surveyor may produce a valuation which is higher than the value you have agreed with the landlord at present which then may need to be challenged by you which may or may not be successful, for which she would likely need to retain your own specialist surveyor, again incurring further costs.
what would seem to me to be a potentially better approach would be to instruct an alternative solicitor the does have appropriate expertise. Any firm of medium size and above should have a property lawyer who is capable of conducting straightforward freehold acquisition - it is not particularly difficult for a solicitor to undertake.
however, if you prefer to use statutory route at this stage, the process is begun by serving a section 11 notice upon the landlord freeholder. You can obtain a copy of the form you require from Oyez (link below) for a small fee. It is important to consider that once you serve the notice, you are liable to pay landlords reasonable costs as I referred to above so you should not serve the notice unless you are prepared to cover such costs as the landlord can sue for such costs if they are not paid.
is there anything above I can clarify for you or does the above answer your questions satisfactorily?