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The CLC’s Strategy

REGULATING SPECIALIST CONVEYANCING AND PROBATE LAWYERS

Our mission

We deliver effective regulation of specialist conveyancing and probate lawyers that protects consumers and fosters competition and innovation in the provision of legal services.

A history of innovation

The CLC and the profession of Licensed Conveyancer were established by parliament in 1985 to foster competition in the provision of conveyancing services. We were able to license businesses that had outside investment, long before the 2007 Legal Services Act introduced Alternative Business Structures across the rest of the sector. So our expertise in regulating commercially-minded legal service providers has deep roots.

We take a proactive approach built on close engagement with the firms we regulate to help practices to address difficulties before they become serious or pose a threat to consumers. The Legal Services Board has noted that we take a ‘consistent and risk-based approach’, are able to take ‘targeted action depending on the risk posed’ and ‘allow practitioners to be innovative in the way they deliver their products’.

Three-quarters of CLC Lawyers say that regulation by the CLC provides value for money and supports innovation and growth in their businesses and that being regulated by the CLC is either ‘extremely’ or ‘mostly’ beneficial to their businesses.

Strategy for 2023-2025

The Council and staff of the CLC reviewed the organisation’s strategic objectives over six months in 2022. We agreed the existing objectives simply needed refreshing rather than a full-scale review.

The CLC’s Strategic Objectives for the three years beginning January 2023 set out below reflect comments made in our open consultation over the summer of 2022.

  Strategic objectives Priority actions that will be reflected in business plans
1 Grow the CLC’s regulated community and broaden the CLC’s sources of funding This benefits clients by reducing the unit cost of regulation by the CLC and bring the CLC’s specialist regulation of conveyancing and probate to bear on a larger part of the market Explore how to offer regulation to any suitably qualified lawyers specializing in conveyancing and probate (FCILEx, solicitors) to secure better outcomes for consumers   Promote education to CLC qualifications to grow the pipeline of new licensed conveyancers
Explore providing more support to students and ensure accessibility of routes to CLC qualification
Try to identify changes to PII that could ease the burden on CLC-regulated firms while maintaining consumer protection.
Report on progress quarterly to the Council, identifying barriers to growth and addressing them as far as practicable
Continue to husband CLC resources and infrastructure carefully
Introduce advertising/sponsorship to conferences, webinars and newsletters
2a Promote quality in legal services
The CLC should promote all aspects of improvement in the practice of conveyancing and probate, whether legislative, process change or IT-driven to improve client outcomes.
Continue to work with other regulators, HM Land Registry, Home Buying and Selling Group, DCMS and ID providers, software developers to drive improvement and urgent reform in the consumer and public interest
Promote proportionality in the management of risk in the delivery of legal services and adoption of new processes and tools that can assist
Support inclusion and diversity in the regulated community and the provision of inclusive legal services
Continue the Conveyancing 2030 programme and horizon-scanning to inform the CLC and Regulated Community
Ensure that rolling review of Handbook (below) future-proofs CLC regulation
Explore ways to help the regulated community have greater confidence about change and make faster progress
Implement findings of the Quality Indicators pilot
Enhance insight into consumer needs and concerns
 2b Promote quality in legal services
Revised Ethical Standards should underpin work to drive quality and compliance and assist in the disciplinary process.    
Establish and promulgate new Ethical Principles to underpin good client outcomes
Review Know Your Client requirements and standards and apply to advice, AML, Sanctions and Conflicts of Interest compliance with thematic reviews
Launch new approach to CPD
Review Code of Conduct in line with Ethical Principles and learnings since last review
Establish realistic timetable for rolling review of the Handbook
Promote better understanding of assisted compliance and what happens when it is not achieved
Explore how to ensure relevant, targeted and high-quality training and CPD provision is accessible
Exploit our insight and risk-based approach to target monitoring and compliance
Promote CLC qualifications to employers
3 Exploit the CLC’s unique approach, insight and relationship with the regulated community to further improve consumer protection Drive out the benefits of assisted compliance in preventing consumer detriment
Post-pandemic, rebuild opportunities for face to face engagement
Target compliance work on areas of most significant risk
Thematic reviews of most significant risks followed up by compliance action
Fewer routine inspections each year and more risk-based activity

Reporting progress
As always, the governing Council of the CLC will monitor closely progress against this strategy and the annual business plans that will set out to deliver it. The CLC will publish annual assessments through its Annual Report and Annual Financial Statements as well as in ad hoc commentary throughout the strategy period.