CatWitch wrote:.......The deposit was paid directly to the owners in the UK........
If the deposit is "safe", maybe the vendor should dump the present lawyer as I suggested earlier. If the lawyer is the problem, dump him and start again. A decent lawyer will have it done in a few weeks, assuming no major problems. And if there are problems, a decent lawyer will tell you what they are so you know where you stand.
Just my thoughts. As many people on this forum will confirm, there is no mileage in persisting with a problem lawyer if you can get out from under.