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CLC targets 20% fee rate cut for firms

23 March 2016

The Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) has today published its Financial Statements for the year 2015 and announced that it plans to reduce regulatory fee rates for all firms by 20%, effective from November 2016.

The Financial Statements and the Annual Report published in February evidence a year of wide-reaching change, including the CLC’s staffing restructure, investments in improved processes and IT, and a move to premises more suited to the organisation’s current work. These changes have placed the regulator onto a new footing for the future. The CLC’s new business model, which will see savings begin to be realised in 2016, maintains regulatory standards and consumer protection at their usual high levels but at lower cost than in recent years.

As a result of the successful restructuring of the CLC’s operations, the Council plans to make very significant reductions to the practice fee rates charged to the firms it regulates. The detail of fees for the year beginning 1st November 2016 will be a matter for consultation later in the spring. However, the Council intends to apply an across the board cut of 20% to practice fee rates, following four years of frozen rates. Rates for contribution to the Compensation Fund operated on behalf of the profession by the CLC will remain flat.

Sheila Kumar, Chief Executive of the Council for Licensed Conveyancers said: “I am delighted to confirm that the CLC’s future operations will continue to deliver the same high standards of regulation and consumer protection at a much reduced cost to the regulated community that is sustainable in the long term. The new staff team, which has been through significant change over the last 18 months, is operating in a focused and cost-effective way. The period of transition to this more efficient model was smooth and saw no interruption to service to clients or the regulated community over 2015. The savings to our cost base, which will begin to be realised in 2016, can be built into our planning for the coming years. Those savings have given the Council confidence to announce a 20% reduction in entity regulation fee rates across the board from the beginning of the next licence year on 1st November 2016. Alongside the review of the CLC’s Handbook that is now underway, these changes demonstrate our commitment to ensuring that specialist regulation of specialist property lawyers is as tailored and proportionate as possible so that we continue to support innovation and growth in the sector.”