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Created in 1985 in order to foster competition in the provision of conveyancing, we still aim to support innovation and growth in the sector we regulate.
Unlike the other legal regulators, the CLC has only ever had an exclusively regulatory function. The CLC’s Code is principles based and outcomes focused. We do not simply police the community that we regulate, we support them in achieving compliance: we want them to thrive.
The CLC currently licenses over 1,300 individuals and 240 entities, respectively accounting in 2011 (the CLC estimates) for about 4% of authorised persons and 5% of all entities in the legal sector. They service 11% of the market for conveyancing – transactions with a value of around £11bn-£15bn each year – and 20% of all re-mortgaging activity.
Over 70 licensed conveyancers are now licensed to also provide probate services. A number of CLC entities offer probate as well as conveyancing services and some entities have now been licensed to specialise in probate services alone.
In 2016 we were awarded the highest overall rating of any legal services regulator by the Legal Services Board.
In a recent survey, three quarters of licensed conveyancers stated that the CLC provides value for money and supports them in developing their businesses. From 1st November 2016 the CLC reduced its regulatory fees rates for Practices by 20%.
The CLC regulates thriving firms of all types and sizes, and has always looked to promote high regulatory standards. Each CLC Practice is allocated a Regulatory Supervision Manager (RSM) whose role is to guide them in all regulatory and compliance issues.
Our Code of Conduct and approach to regulation are closely tailored to the property specialisation of those we regulate. This enables us to take a genuinely light touch.
The fact that CLC-regulated entities are specialists means there is no need for accreditation schemes on top of regulation. Expertise is guaranteed through specialisation of regulation and practice.
The CLC’s Code allows referral fee arrangements subject to absolute transparency with the client from the outset. The requirements are set out in our brief Disclosure of Profits and Advantages Code here: http://bit.ly/1hKUexo
The CLC’s Participating Insurers Agreement for Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) includes run-off cover free at the point of closure of a firm. Find out more about PII.
Existing regulated conveyancing practices should address the following issues before beginning their application to be regulated by the CLC. Applications generally take around eight weeks, subject to any necessary external checks.
Will the new entity that will be regulated by the CLC be owned and include at least one Licensed Conveyancer Manager? If so, you may apply to be regulated as a Recognised Body. If there is no Licensed Conveyancer Manager or there are to be non-lawyer owners or managers, you will need to apply to be regulated as an Alternative Business Structure (ABS).
A solicitor practising in conveyancing can apply to become a Licensed Conveyancer and can also continue to hold a practising certificate from the SRA.
You should discuss PI run-off cover implications with your insurer. If the new, CLC-regulated entity is to be managed by the existing team in the practice that is being transferred and in substantially the same way, it should be possible for insurers to agree to continuity for insurance purposes. You should also discuss your plans with brokers under the Participating Insurers Agreement.
You should inform lenders of your plans and secure their agreement that you will not be regarded by them as a new entity when you move to CLC regulation. Lenders are generally happy to agree this but it is best to talk to them in advance.
While the CLC accepts sole-practitioner entities, you should note that lenders often will be unwilling to instruct a conveyancing practice that does not have at least two managers who are legally qualified and regulated (Authorised Persons in terms of the Legal Services Act 2007).
Individual Regulation by the CLC
Information on becoming a regulated CLC Lawyer.
Practice Regulation by the CLC
Information on becoming a regulated CLC practice.