More Firms Looking For Specialist Regulation

In October, we revealed that three firms had taken advantage of the lapsed SRA indemnity insurance run-off requirement by moving from the Solicitor Regulation Authority (SRA) to the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC).

Conveyancing specialists Fidler & Pepper Lawyers, AV Rillo and Clutton Cox all made the move to the CLC, citing the specialist regulator as the main reason for moving.

Since then, another three SRA-regulated firms have moved their conveyancing and probate services into separate CLC-licensed practices. These are EHL Conveyancing, Poole Townsend Estates and Your Conveyancer.

Over the last five years many legal service firms have felt stuck with their regulator; unable to easily transfer to a regulator that may perfectly suit their business. In the main part, this was due to the indemnity insurance policy run-off requirement all SRA members needed to take out before they could use another regulator.

The minimum six-year run-off insurance cover was deemed as a clear barrier to many firms choosing the regulator that will best represent their business because a firm would need to take out duel policies, thus reducing choice, freedom and a fair market. The rule was subsequently lifted in October 2017 and movement between firms has been considerably easier as a result.

A CLC Spokesperson commented: “While each business has its own reason for choosing to move to the CLC, what we do know is that they appreciate the commercial agility that the CLC as a specialised regulator is able to help them foster. They know we’re committed to their long-term success.

“Our regulatory approach is designed to support client-focused and innovative property lawyers. This means we work alongside businesses to support them to provide modern legal services that benefit consumers. We also know that our practices appreciate the close working relationship they develop with the licensing team during the application stage and especially value the long-term relationship they develop with their designated Regulatory Supervision Managers enabling them to have a single point of contact and open dialogue that supports their compliance with our Regulatory Arrangements.”

The CLC also revealed that the registration team are currently working with a number of other firms that are either looking to move their entire business or part of their conveyancing or probate services into CLC regulation.

The CLC concluded: “We are discussing and progressing a number of applications from SRA regulated firms. Each one is treated individually and we know that CLC Regulation will not be right for all those who initially approach us. At the CLC we know that modern commercially-minded lawyers need a responsive and forward-looking regulator. We would suggest that any law firm who may be interested should invite us to come and listen to them, tell us about their people, their ambitions and their business strategy. And we’ll help them understand how becoming part of the CLC regulated business community can support their commercial objectives.”

Whilst regulators look to enforce price and service transparency, it seems that more firms are opting to use a specialist regulator that can cater specifically to their unique needs; many more may be doing the same as we enter 2019.

Has your firm considered moving regulators?


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