The CLC regulates both individual Licenced Conveyancers and specialist practices carrying out conveyancing or probate activities. You should expect to see the following logo on the website of any practice regulated by us and it will show the current date. We cannot investigate concerns about legal service providers not regulated by the CLC.

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 Complaints about the service you have received

The CLC will not consider complaints about poor service.

If you are unhappy with your Licensed Conveyancer or their practice, you have the right to complain to the practice. As a first step, you must work through their own complaints process. They must tell you how you can complain to them and this is usually included in the initial materials you received when you instructed the practice. It should also be on the practice’s website.

If you are not satisfied with the practice’s handling of your complaint, you can seek the help of the Legal Ombudsman. They will expect you to have tried to resolve any issues through the practice’s own channels first. If this has not proved possible, the Legal Ombudsman may be able to help you if you are unhappy about the work that was done by your lawyer or the service that you received.

Examples of poor service are:

  • Delays
  • Failure to advise you of significant issues
  • Not responding to emails, letters or calls;
  • Giving a client unclear advice;
  • Charging a client an amount they are not happy with;

Not doing the work in the timescale it should have been done.

Remember, you must have made a complaint and received a response to it from your lawyer before you refer the matter on to the Legal Ombudsman.

The Legal Ombudsman may refer certain cases to the CLC, for example, if they believe there may have been misconduct or if the practice has closed.

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Complaints about the honesty or ethics of your lawyer

If you think your Licensed Conveyancer might be dishonest,  or you have concerns about their behaviour, or you believe they may have breached the CLC’s Code of Conduct, the CLC will be able to look at your concerns. 

Examples of this sort of behaviour include:

  • Losing your money
  • Acting dishonestly in giving you advice
  • Continuing to act for you when your interests conflict with those of your conveyancer or another client
  • Discriminating against you

We welcome information about dishonesty or breaches of our Code of Conduct. How we deal with that information can be found below at Information provided to the CLC.

The CLC is not able to deal with issues of poor service or personal complaints made against practices – these matters must be referred to the Legal Ombudsman if they are not resolved by practice itself or individual Licenced Conveyancer in accordance with their Complaints Policy. 

To raise a concern, please use this form. 

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What we cannot do and the Compensation Fund

 

What we cannot do

The CLC does not operate an alternative dispute resolution scheme or ombudsman’s service and cannot resolve disputes between clients, other practices and our regulated community.  We are not able to:

  • provide you with legal advice
  • award compensation for poor service or require a practice to compensate you
  • reduce or refund your legal fees

The Compensation Fund

If we have closed a practice and you believe that the practice owes you money, you may be able to make a claim on our Compensation Fund. Find out more.   

 

Information provided to the CLC

What happens after you provide information?

We will always acknowledge initial receipt of your concern and aim to formally respond within 28 days.  Our response  will confirm how we will handle the matter you have raised. This could include that:

  • We may need to contact the practice or Licensed Conveyancer to ensure a breach does not happen again or to ask them to improve their processes or procedures;
  • We may need to pursue a detailed formal investigation which could lead to disciplinary sanctions and / or referral to other supervisory bodies;
  • There may be no further action to be taken.

In most cases we seek to work with the individual or practice to try to make sure that the problem does not arise again.  Sometimes no further action is needed but the information is retained on file in case it is needed in future.

Information we receive may be used in our investigations.  That might include it being disclosed to the practice and you should let us know if the information is provided to us on a confidential basis.  Those investigations may result in disciplinary action.

You will not usually hear from us after the initial contact unless for example we need more information from you in order to take the right action or if you might be needed as a witness in a disciplinary matter.

Investigations may need to take place very confidentially in order to be successful. Therefore it is rarely appropriate to provide you with updates during the course of an investigation. Additionally, we may not always inform you of the outcome of our investigations.. We publish the outcomes of serious disciplinary matters referred to the Adjudication Panel on our website.

Please do not contact us for an update on our investigations. If we consider it is appropriate to provide you with details of the outcome of our investigations then we will do so.

 

Length of investigation

Due to the complexity of some of the issues we deal with, the investigation process can be lengthy, particularly if there are ongoing related third party investigations such as criminal proceedings or an insurance claim.

 

If we decide we need to take disciplinary action

In a small number of cases, the CLC may decide that some sort of sanction is necessary. 

These include issuing rebukes and fines, the imposition of licence conditions and suspensions and the most extreme cases, intervention. The CLC can administer some of these tools informally and others may require formal disciplinary sanction by referral to a hearing of the Adjudication Panel.

If we decide that there is sufficient evidence of serious or sustained breaches to our Codes, we will draft allegations and provide the practice or Licensed Conveyancer an opportunity to respond before those allegations are passed to the Adjudication Panel for further consideration.

This stage in the process can be lengthy as we need to collate as much information as we can.

Please note: the CLC decision on how to respond to the concerns you raise is final.

 

To raise a concern, please use this form. 

You will be asked to provide documentary evidence in support of your complaint. Such documentation should support the grounds of the complaint and must be relevant to your complaint. 

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