CLC intervention FAQs
Who is the CLC?
The Council for Licensed Conveyancers, or the CLC, are a regulatory professional body who govern licensed conveyancers. Just like solicitors are governed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (the SRA).
The CLC aim to protect consumers by regulating all licensed conveyancer’s within England and Wales, ensuring that all licenced conveyancers act with integrity and maintain a high standard of work.
What is the difference between a solicitor and a licensed conveyancer?
Both are regulated professionals who specialise in legal services. The difference being that a solicitor is able to practice in any area of law governing England and Wales, whereas a licensed conveyancer is only qualified to act in property and probate matters.
Both can represent you in a property transaction, and both are legally qualified to assist you.
What is an intervention?
An intervention is the act of closing down a licensed conveyancing practice by the CLC. The CLC will take possession of all active and closed files and take control of all monies flowing into their bank account. The practice will cease trading as a legal practice on the day of the intervention and clients will effectively become unrepresented.
Why is Stephensons working with the CLC?
Stephensons are asked by the CLC to act as “intervention agents”. This means that whilst the CLC ensure that the intervention is conducted appropriately, Stephensons assist the CLC in closing the practice down, highlighting any files that may be deemed urgent and ensuring that any urgent work required is completed and clients are not prejudiced as a result of the intervention.
Stephensons do not take over the running of the intervened practice, but act in an advisory role to the CLC and will act where necessary to protect clients interests.
Why have the CLC shut down my licensed conveyancer?
The CLC will close any practice that it believes to be a risk to consumers. This could be for a number of reasons including suspected dishonesty, breach of the code of conduct or other rules, or abandonment of the practice.
In any event, the CLC does not take this decision lightly. The CLC will publish on its website information about the intervention and basic reasons for their decision. Some of the details may be confidential and will not be published.
What has happened to my file?
Whilst the CLC are in the process of closing the practice down, Stephensons utilise highly trained solicitors, licenced conveyancers, trainee solicitors, paralegals and support staff to review all live files and identify any urgent files that require immediate action. These could be files that are due to complete in the immediate future or have already exchanged contracts.
Any urgent files will be taken back to the offices at Stephensons where our residential conveyancing team will take any action deemed to be urgent and necessary.
Any files deemed not to be urgent will also be taken back to the offices of Stephensons and handed to our highly experienced interventions team who will log and review all files coming in and hold them on behalf of the CLC and the clients until further instructions are given.
All clients with live files will receive a letter informing them of the intervention and advising them on what steps to take.
If my file is deemed as ‘non urgent’ can I instruct Stephensons?
Yes you can and we would be more than happy to help you. We appreciate buying a house can be a stressful time and if the practice you instructed has been closed due to an intervention, it can put further stress and pressure on you. We understand this and have handled numerous cases following interventions to get them successfully over the finish line.
If you would like to obtain a quote from Stephensons, please call us on 0333 344 4775 and ask our interventions team to refer your file to our residential conveyancing team who will be more than happy to assist.
Alternatively, if you wish to instruct another firm of solicitors or licenced conveyancers ask your new lawyer write to our interventions team requesting your file and providing a written authority, signed by you, authorising the release of your file to the solicitor or licenced conveyancer of your choice.
I transferred money to the practice representing me and now it has been intervened. What should I do?
If you are worried about money that you have paid to a practice that has been intervened on then you should provide documentary evidence of the payment and apply for a reimbursement to the CLC compensation fund. This could be a bank statement or remittance advice.
For more information on this, we would suggest you contact the CLC on 020 3859 0904.
If the money transferred was a large amount for completion, or a deposit, you should contact Stephensons in the first instance. Your file may have already been identified as urgent with the matter in hand. If contracts have been exchanged then the CLC and Stephensons will work to ensure that you complete your transaction on time.
Stephensons works very closely with the CLC and will forward your evidence to them and request that the funds be transferred to Stephensons so that we can continue to act for you.