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CLC Council Meeting of 10th November 2022

Chair’s Report from Dame Janet Paraskeva


On November 10th, the Council of the CLC met in formal session for the final time this year . As ever, we reviewed the performance of the organisation and you can find the key performance indicators on the website.


I also talked Council through the findings of my performance appraisal of Council Members, which I undertook in October. I myself will now be subject to appraisal by an independent assessor who will be provided with information and insight from Council Members themselves. This is a rigorous annual process, that provides assurance to the regulated community and stakeholders that the Council is operating effectively in steering the CLC and holding the executive to account.


Reducing the financial burden of regulation


Minimising the cost burden of regulation is vital part of ensuring that there is thriving and diverse conveyancing and probate provision to meet the needs and expectations of all clients.  So the Council was pleased that its application to the Legal Services Board to freeze regulatory fee rates for the year beginning 1 November had been approved. Against the background of high inflation, this is of course a significant real-terms cut. The Council felt it was prudent to make this freeze to help with the stability of legal services provision at a time when the UK faces uncertainty in the global and national economies.


This freeze comes on top of successive cuts in fee rates that have brought them down by more than 50% over the last seven years. This of course means that firms are only paying more if their turnover has increased Compensation Fund contributions have been cut by around half too over the same period.


Strategy for 2023-2025


The Council and staff of the CLC have been reviewing the organisation’s strategic objectives over the last six months. 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 are set out below.


  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


Business Plan for 2023


The Council also approved the Business Plan for 2023 and it has been published on the CLC website. It sets out how the CLC will maintain the high standards of client protection in the regulated community and support improvement and innovation in the delivery of conveyancing and probate services in line with our strategic objectives. The Council reviews progress against the Business Plan at each of our formal quarterly meetings.


Ethical Principles


The Council was also pleased to note general support in the initial stage of consultation on revised ethical principles for the profession. These were developed in consultation with experienced lawyers and sharpened in discussion with the CLC’s new Consumer Reference Group. There will be further consultation on the revised ethical principles as part of a consultation on revisions to the Code of Conduct in 2023.


Equality Code


The Council reviewed the consultation on proposed changes to the CLC’s Equality Code, which had been supportive of the approach that we intend to take and provided further useful suggestions for action alongside the Code itself. A submission for a rule change will now be made to the Legal Services Board and the CLC will also shortly launch of round of data collection on the regulated community’s diversity profile.


Publication Policy Review


The CLC now reviews its Publication Policy annually. This year, it has agreed to make two changes. It will now be possible for anyone who is interested to request a copy of a Council paper if it is not already published in full on the website. People may also ask to attend a Council meeting as an observer for specific items. We hope this will help those who are interested in particular issues to be able to follow policy development or other Council decisions more closely.


The planned meeting dates, agenda and papers for CLC Council meetings are published on our website in advance of meetings. If you have any questions or feedback on these reports, I would be very glad to receive it. You can email me at