The Council for Licensed Conveyancers has produced its annual report for 2009.
In 2009 there were 195 licensed conveyancing businesses and the need for one intervention. The number of complaints fell in line with market volumes collapsing and the claims on the compensation fund were £1435.
The report shows that the number of students sitting the licensed conveyancer exams has fallen from just below 2000 students per year to less than 800 students in 2009. The recession has had a clear impact on the career choices that people are making.
However the report also highlighted progress in other key areas. Alastair Guthrie the Chairman highlighted a number of areas where the CLC have developed in the last year. He said “one of the key objectives is to increase the range of services available from regulated providers and the Council made a strategic decision that the CLC should extend its remit by applying to regulate advocacy and litigation services.”
He went on to say “We made good progress with regard to another key strategic objective which is to ensure that the CLC has governance arrangements which promote accountability and enable decisions to be made at the appropriate level and in a timely manner.”
Other areas highlighted include a review of the professional indemnity insurance proposals for licensed conveyancers.
The report also shows the intentions to keep the public safe from fraudulent or negligent conveyancers, it states that “The CLC operates inspection regimes to monitor the work of the profession to ensure required standards are being met. These cover Accounts, Conveyancing and Anti-Money Laundering. The first two of these were historically rolling programmes based on time elapsed. Additional inspections e.g. for new practices, were dovetailed into these programmes. The Anti-Money Laundering Reviews were first introduced as a separate task in 2008.
"During 2009 work commenced to develop a risk based inspection regime with a view to moving the emphasis away from time elapsed to a mix of risk, random and new practice inspections. In order to make maximum use of technology, practices have been asked to complete a self-assessment to provide basic information. The information provided is considered alongside other factors to determine the type of inspection required. This could range from no inspection, through to a desk based review or an on-site inspection. This process, along with a review of operational processes has reduced the number of on-site inspections required.”
Whilst many conveyancers operate in solicitors practices it seems clear that the CLC is ever more credible with some of the largest conveyancers in the country like enact and CPL choosing to be regulated by them.