Created in 1985 in order to foster competition in the provision of conveyancing, the CLC still aims 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 1,200 individuals and 200 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 10-15% 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.
Key points to note about the CLC regime
Specialist regulation of specialist lawyers
Our Code of Conduct and approach to regulation are closely tailored to the property specialisation of those we regulate whether in conveyancing or probate. In common with other regulators, our focus has moved towards entity regulation away from regulation of the individual and is outcomes-focused, not rules-based. We strive to take a genuinely proportionate and evidence-based approach.
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.
A master policy for professional indemnity insurance is used by the vast majority of CLC-regulated entities. Firms that opt-out are required to demonstrate that the cover they have in place at least matches the provisions of the master policy.