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CLC Application and Licence Fees and Regulatory Fee Rates Frozen for 2022-23

15 November, 2022

Firms regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) will not face any increase in application fees, licence fees and regulatory fee rates for the coming year.

The announcement follows an open consultation which ran over the summer and asked firms to respond on five areas, covering turnover bandings, Practice Fee rates, Compensation Fund Contribution rates, Office for Legal Complaints (OLC) levy and individual practice certificate cost.

All practices are required to pay the Practice Fee, OLC Levy and Compensation Fund Contribution as a condition of licence.

When we consulted on our proposals, respondents were in favour of not making any additional changes to the application fees, licence fees and regulatory fee rates that were set in 2021. Any change to what practices pay will be because the firm’s turnover has changed or the number of cases from the firm upheld by the Office for Legal Complaints (OLC) has changed.

In 2021 the CLC made significant changes to the fees levied on practices. These changes were implemented to ensure transparency and fairness. The changes implemented were:

  1. Increasing the number of turnover bandings from 4 to 9. This has enabled practices to benefit from lower fee rates as they grow.
  2. Reducing the Practice Fee rates and excluding the Legal Ombudsman charge from the Practice Fee, which has improved the transparency of fees as the funds are only used for CLC operating expenditure.
  3. Implementing a separate OLC levy to recover the cost of the Legal Ombudsman recharge. The CLC has no control over this charge, which is based on case numbers and costs provided by the Legal Ombudsman. The charge has increased significantly over the last five years, and separating it has increased transparency of costs and increased the focus on complaint handling.

CLC Chief Executive Sheila Kumar says: “We believe, as a proactive and engaged regulator, it is our job to ensure we fully understand the pressures our firms face and find ways to encourage them to continue to provide a quality, cost effective service to the public.

“We have cut Practice fee rates by more than half over the course of the last seven years, and Compensation Fund contributions have been cut by around half too.

“Against the background of inflation, this year’s freeze is a significant, real-terms cut in fees and fee rates. Keeping the financial burden of regulation to a proportionate level is a key element of the CLC’s commitment to supporting a thriving conveyancing and probate sector responsive to the needs of the client.”

The Legal Services Board approved the CLC Practice Fee application on 2 November 2022, the approval is published here.