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Application Stages

Most applications follow the steps below. We will discuss this with you in the telephone call.

Step 1.  Applicants should email the CLC Licensing Team on outlining key information about the business you intending to set up, listing:

  • the reserved and non-reserved legal activities the business intends to offer
  • the owners and their qualifications (if applicable);
  • the key personnel and their intended roles; and
  • general information about the business, such as the source of set up funds (e.g. corporate or personal)/sources of work.

Step 2. Come and meet us. Applicants are invited to attend a virtual Teams licensing meeting with the CLC Licensing Team. It’s important that owners and managers attend this meeting because we will be discussing the investment and governance elements of your application and the associated authorisations and licences required for any key personnel. We will discuss the financial and regulatory viability and sustainability of the proposed business. In addition we will explain the following documents and their importance in the application process together with what we expect from you.

Step 3. Preparing the information for your digital application. Preparing the information for your digital application. You should ensure you have obtained a quotation for professional indemnity insurance cover (PII) from an Insurer which is a signatory to the CLC Participating Insurance Agreement (with the exception of SRA firms applying to switch to CLC regulation). Details of Insurers can be found on the CLC website. The CLC encourages firms to seek quotes from more than one insurer.

Step 4. Complete submit and pay for your digital application through the online platform, DocuSign, attaching all relevant supporting information. You will also need to simultaneously submit all associated individual applications. A nominated owner/manager will receive the email link to access the Docusign form. The CLC will invoice for any associated application fees at this point, which will need to be paid before any  application review. The CLC instructs a screening agency to carry out screening checks on all applicants and additionally disciplinary checks on regulated professionals.

Step 5. The application review period. Before progressing to the formal review stage we will:

  1. a) carry out a completeness review of the application to see all mandatory documents have been provided, at this point we may ask you to submit any obviously omitted information but this does not constitute a formal review. When mandatory documents are missing the application will not be accepted.
  2. b) ask you to pay all the associated practice and individual application fees,
  3. c) require all associated individuals to pay the standard screening fees and complete all requests from the screening agency in order for them to carry out the screening process.

Following confirmation from the finance team and the screening agency that these actions have been completed we will email you to tell you that your Practice application has entered the formal review period. The CLC endeavours to review straightforward applications within 90 days of confirming that the application has progressed to the review stage. More complex applications may take longer.

Applicants will only be contacted by the CLC during the formal 90 day review period if the CLC believes that further investigation is needed to verify any supporting documentation or information provided by the applicant. Applicants not contacted during this time should presume their application is progressing satisfactorily. We are not able to provide email updates on ad hoc basis.

Step 6. The CLC Determination. Once the review period is completed a Licensing Recommendation is then put before the Licensing Panel. The recommendation outcome is focused on an assessment of the ability of the owners, managers and key personnel to provide compliant legal services and manage the risks associated to the legal services. We will need all the relevant disciplinary, credit and criminality checks to be completed and subsequent enquiries satisfied before a licensing recommendation can be put before the Licensing Panel.

Step 7. Informing you of the outcome of your application: We will confirm the CLC’s licensing decision by email. There will be number steps to complete before a practice can be issued. Please guidance carefully so that you are fully aware of the timescales involved.