1. This solicitor is concerned about fraud. In particular mortgage fraud. This is why he is seeing you in person. Not because he particularly wants to see you, but merely so that he satisfys himself as to the true identity of who he is dealing with. Given the large number of claims for mortgage fraud in the UK, this is prudent practice on the part of the solicitor. I regret to say that if you seek to complaint to the Law Society about this solicitor's behaviour, you will get a stern rebuff. The Law Society instructs all solicitors to satisfy themselves as to the true identity of who they are dealing with in conveyancing matters so as to avoid claims on solicitors' professional indemnity policies for mortgage fraud. So you are wasting your time complaining.
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3. The only sure way of verifying a person's identity is to meet them in person, when you have their ID and verify from speaking to them that they are who they say they are. It is human intuition at bottom. This solicitor has obviously had experience in his previous dealings which makes him reluctant to just rely upon ID handed in at reception. He wants to meet who he is dealing with and suss out are they in fact who they say they are. Anyone can get hold of a utility bill and a driving licence. They could be stolen or counterfeit. So he just wants to know who he is dealing with.
4. Be aware that mortgage fraud is a leading source of claims against solicitors' professional indemnity policies. Solicitors link the transaction together so they want to be sure they are in fact dealing with who they say they are. Otherwise the solicitor gets sued.