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December 2017 Newsletter

CLC Conference 2018 – Thriving in a digital future

Join us on 24th January 2018 for a day packed with information, advice and lively discussion.

There will be sessions on how IT can be used to transform the home buying process, how diversity can drive business improvement as well as an early look at the outcome of our consultation on price transparency. And there will be practical sessions on

  • reducing Land Registry requisitions
  • avoiding PII claims
  • handling complaints
  • engaging potential clients

Your feedback on our conference last year was that the content was very helpful but that the venue was too cramped. This year we are moving to a spacious venue in central London to make sure everyone is more comfortable.

The conference is free of charge and will carry a CPD award of 4.5 hours for lawyers.

It will be especially useful for lawyer and non-lawyer managers of CLC firms as well as any specialist conveyancer or probate lawyer and anyone thinking of establishing a practice under CLC regulation. .

Find out more and book your place now:

Message from HSBC about their panel management

We announced earlier this year that HSBC would be implementing an open panel approach across all jurisdictions, managed by Legal Marketing Services (LMS).

147 CLC regulated firms have already applied and been advised by LMS that they are accepted onto the HSBC panel.

Now that HSBC are further along with their plans, we are keen to provide you with an update on their progress and next steps. HSBC previously advised implementation of the panel changes would be in two phases.

The first phase went live with the launch of HSBC’s new broker application platform from early November. Any purchase customers applying via this platform will be able to appoint their own conveyancer, via LMS Panel Link to act both for them and HSBC, as long as their chosen conveyancer has been accepted onto the HSBC panel and has the right number of partners for the case value.

Law firms will be notified by an email from LMS when a new mortgage instruction is available and will access the mortgage instruction through LMS Panel Link. For firms already registered, LMS will have provided information on this.

The second phase applies to any purchase customers applying via HSBCs direct channels, i.e. HSBC Branch Network & Call Centres, with the move to the open panel approach via LMS in late February 2018. Until this date there is no change to the existing arrangements.

As HSBC get closer to the second phase going live in February, they will provide another update that we will share with you.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The GDPR comes into force on 25th May 2018.

The Information Commissioner’s Office has lots of helpful information, including this guide to twelve steps to take now:

Helping consumers choose their lawyer

You have until 29th December to have your say on our consultation about implementing recommendations from the Competition and Markets Authority. They are aimed at making more information available about the features, quality and price of legal services.

It is vital that we get as much opinion and evidence as possible from a wide range of firms.

Find out more on our website:

Improving the home buying and selling process

The government is asking for ideas and evidence on how the home buying and selling process can be improved.

We urge all you read and respond to the Call for Evidence. The deadline for responses is 17th December and there is an easy form to complete online:

Before you respond you might want to watch the recording of our webinar with Beth Rudolf of the Conveyancing Association and Matt Prior of the Department for Communities and Local Government, for more insight into the issues raised:

Wales Land Transaction Tax

Don’t forget that the Land Transaction Tax will replace Stamp Duty Land Tax in Wales from 1st April 2018. Guidance will be published in the Welsh Revenue Authority site:

Protecting your clients and your firm

In the busy run-up to Christmas it is vital to remain vigilant. Be aware of the risk of interception of emails and the other ways fraudsters try to divert client money

The National Cyber Security Centre has a new guide for small businesses as well as lots of other insight and tips.

Join the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign to raise staff and client awareness of the risks.

Visit our webpage dedicated to tackling fraud and cyber crime:

Read our latest anti-money laundering guidance.

Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) Annual Report 2017

As part of its new approach, the UK Financial Intelligence Unit (UKFIU) uses the terms ‘defence against money laundering’ (DAML) or ‘defence against terrorism financing’ instead of ‘defence’.  This approach is intended to make SARs more helpful for Law Enforcement Authorities.  The UKFIU has received positive examples of how the new DAML process has been influencing reporter behaviour, and driving up the quality of SARs (see in particular pages 17-19).