15 February, 2016
The CLC has published its Annual Report on the year 2015 and its business plan for 2016 setting out as priorities three major strategic projects
Reform of the provision of education and training leading to licence as a CLC lawyer has been under way in collaboration with the regulated community for over a year. Autumn 2016 will see the launch of new apprenticeship, classroom and distance learning routes to qualification as a Licensed Conveyancer or CLC Probate Practitioner. The apprenticeships are part of the government’s Trailblazer programme and employers will have access to government funding to support their apprentices.
The CLC’s rule book is closely tailored to the provision of specialist conveyancing and probate services. The CLC is nonetheless beginning reviews of its Code of Conduct and financial protection arrangements. These two reviews will take account of changes in the market and best practice in regulation since the last review undertaken by the CLC. As well as maintaining high standards of consumer protection for which the CLC regime is known, the review will also aim to extend support for innovation and competition in the legal services market.
Legal Services Board research published in March 2015 showed thatirms regulated by the CLC view regulatory fees as value for money (81% of respondents). Nonetheless, 2016 will also see a review of the regulatory fees framework on the back of reductions in staff numbers and streamlining of CLC activity in 2015.
Chief Executive of the CLC Sheila Kumar said: ‘2015 was a year of major change for the CLC as we streamlined our activity and staffing and moved to smaller, more suitable premises. Now we are turning to make sure that our rule book, PII arrangements and Compensation Fund fit current market conditions, consumer protection needs and contemporary best practice in regulation. This will ensure we are providing the best possible service to consumers and fostering innovation and competition for progressive providers of conveyancing and probate services.’
Chair of the CLC Dame Janet Paraskeva said: ‘2016 will see us continuing to focus on the core objective of exploring to the full the benefits of specialist regulation of specialist property law services providers. Specialisation delivers high standards of consumer protection in conveyancing and probate, the two most widely used legal services. I have been told repeatedly since taking up the role of Chair of the CLC that those we regulate value our supportive approach that helps them comply with regulation to protect the consumer and develop thriving businesses. The CLC’s approach is unique in the sector, reflecting its original and ongoing mission to promote innovation and competition while protecting the consumer.’