My legal service provider has referred me to the services of another body - do I need to use them?
No, you have the right to shop around, or you may decide you do not need the service offered. You should be provided with information relating to any referral arrangements and fees from the outset; it should make clear that the referral is a recommendation only.
Who is the CLC?
The Council for Licensed Conveyancers, or the CLC, is the regulatory body for Licensed Conveyancers in England and Wales. The CLC’s purpose is to set entry standards and regulate the profession of Licensed Conveyancers effectively in order to:
• Secure adequate consumer protection
• Promote effective competition in the legal services market
• Provide consumer choice
What is conveyancing?
Conveyancing is the process of legally transferring title or ownership of a property or land from one person to another.
Who or what is a Licensed Conveyancer?
A Licensed Conveyancer is a specialist property lawyer qualified in all aspects of property law in England and Wales. A Licensed Conveyancer is also a Commissioner of Oaths and an increasing number also offer Probate services.
Why use a legal service provider regulated by the CLC?
The Client Charter sets out the high standards of service which you have the right to expect from a CLC regulated entity.
For further information, please see the Code Of Conduct for more detail of what you can expect from a CLC Lawyer.
Do I need to use a lawyer?
It is your choice whether to use a lawyer. You may choose to use a lawyer because you are not familiar with the law, or you find the law difficult to understand.
For further information, and to help you make this decision, you may find the Legal Choices website useful.
What legal services can they provide?
All CLC regulated entities are authorised to provide conveyancing services and to administer oaths; some are also licensed to provide probate and other legal services. They must make it clear to you which services they provide are regulated by us and tell you about any they provide which are not regulated.
How can I find a CLC-regulated entity?
Use the search facility provided on the CLC website to find a legal service provider (individual lawyer, or firm) regulated by the CLC.
Who will be dealing with the matter?
You should be informed of the name and status of the person dealing with your matter, and of the person responsible for overall supervision.
How long will it take?
The time taken to complete any legal matter can vary a great deal, and is often dependent on other parties. If there are no significant delays, a conveyancing transaction usually takes between 8 and 12 weeks. A straightforward probate administration takes about 12 months. You should be told at the outset how long your matter is likely to take and be kept updated regularly on any changes.
Further information can be found on the ‘Consumers’ section of the CLC website, or by following the link to the Homeowners Alliance page.
How much will it cost?
The amount you are charged may vary considerably. This makes it all the more important that you find this out when you first instruct a lawyer. The total cost will be made up of ‘fees’ (the charge the CLC Practice makes for acting for you), and ‘charges’ or ‘disbursements’ (what the CLC Practice pays on your behalf to other parties).
Will I be told how much it will cost me?
A CLC practice must tell you when you first instruct it, or very shortly afterwards, how much you will be charged for the services they agree to provide you with. You should also be told promptly if this estimate changes.
I’m concerned about the amount of monies involved, am I protected from any loss?
We require all firms to have professional indemnity insurance in place to protect against losses, and the CLC operates a Compensation Fund, to provide compensation in specific circumstances where there has been loss as a result of the negligence, dishonesty or failure to account by a CLC Practice.
What if I’m not satisfied with the service I receive?
You should raise your concern with your lawyer in the first instance. If this does not result in a satisfactory outcome you have the right to make a complaint to that firm. Should you be dissatisfied with how they deal with your complaint you can contact the Legal Ombudsman. Neither the firm nor the ombudsman will charge you for making a complaint.
The CLC have closed down a practice I was dealing with. What do I do?
Can the legal service provider represent me and another party involved in the same transaction?
Yes, as long as there is no conflict of interest and you have provided written consent that you are happy for them to do so.
I don’t have my deeds, how can I obtain them?
The majority of titles are registered electronically at Land Registry and you can obtain a copy of the register from the Land Registry directly. This is the document which has replaced title deeds, and contains information showing the owner of the property or land as well as any other relevant information including any charges against the property. To sell the property, a copy of the register current at the time is the only document you would need and this will be obtained from Land registry by your chosen lawyer to enable him to prepare the contract
In the instance that your property is not registered electronically, and you have not been able to locate your deeds, you will need to instruct a lawyer to assist in assembling documents to replace the deeds.