2009 Rules governing Licensed Conveyancing Lawyers

On 21 January 2009 the Council for Licensed Conveyancers ( CLC )  with the concurrence of the Secretary of State pursuant to section 20, section 32 and section 38(1) Administration of Justice Act 1985 and section 53 and schedule 8 Courts and Legal Services Act 1990. The rules replaced the Licensed Conveyancers’ Conduct Rules 2005

We set bellow those rules in detail ( verbatim ) :

Contents

1. Citation
2. Interpretation
3. Entitlement to provide Conveyancing Services
4. Conduct of a Licensed Conveyancer
5. Conduct towards Clients
6. Requirement to Report
7. Inspection and Disciplinary Consequences
1. Citation

1. 1 These Rules regulating the professional practice, conduct and discipline of Licensed Conveyancers may be cited as the Licensed Conveyancers’ Conduct Rules 2009 and shall come into force on 31 March 2009 on which date the Licensed Conveyancers’ Conduct Rules 2005 shall cease to have effect, but without prejudice to any matter arising under those Rules then current.

2. Interpretation

2. 1 In these Rules:-

• The first letter of any term defined appears in capitals in these Rules.
• Unless the contrary intention appears, words importing the masculine gender include the feminine and neuter, words in the singular include the plural and words in the plural include the singular.

“1985 Act” Administration of Justice Act 1985;
“the Council” the Council for Licensed Conveyancers established under section 12 of the 1985 Act;
“Council’s Rules” the Licenced Conveyancers’ Conduct Rules 2009 and any other rules made by the Council;
“the Council’s Statutory Duty” to ensure that the standards of competence and professional conduct among persons who practice as Licensed Conveyancers are sufficient to secure adequate protection for consumers, and that the Conveyancing Services provided by such persons are provided both economically and efficiently;
“Client” any person or persons for whom a Licensed Conveyancer acts in the provision of Regulated Services;
“Communications” include communications sent by or on behalf of a Licensed Conveyancer or Recognised Body by post, by a telecommunication system or by other means whilst in an electronic form;
“Company” has the meaning given by section 735(1) of the Companies Act 1985;
“Compensation Fund" the fund out of which grants and other payments are
made by the Council for the purposes set out at section 21(2) of the 1985 Act;.
“Control” strategic management, risk management, accounting and financial controls (including supervisory and audit functions);
“Conveyancing Services” the preparation of transfers, conveyances, contracts and other documents in connection with, and other services ancillary to, the disposition or acquisition of estates or interests in land;
”Durable Medium’’ the means by which information is stored in a way accessible for future reference for no less than the period prescribed by the Council and which allows the unchanged reproduction of the information stored;
“Guidance Notes” guidance issued by the Council to facilitate compliance with the Council’s Rules;
“Indemnity Policy” the insurance policy authorised by the Licensed Conveyancers’ Indemnity Rules;
“Legal Regulators” the Council, the Law Society, the General Council of the Bar, the Master of the Faculties, the Institute of Legal Executives, the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys, the Association of Law Costs Draftsmen and such other bodies which may be authorised to regulate providers
of Reserved Legal Services;
“Licence” a licence to practice as a Licensed Conveyancer issued by the Council;
“Licensed Conveyancer” a person who holds a Licence;
“Limited Liability Partnership” a body corporate formed by being incorporated under the Limited Liability Partnerships Act 2000 recognised by the Council under section 32 of the 1985 Act to provide Regulated Services;

“Limited Liability Partnerships Act 2000” the Limited Liability Partnerships Act 2000, the
Limited Liability Partnerships Regulations 2001 and any other regulations made under that Act;
“LLP Member” a member of a Limited Liability Partnership;
“Manager” in relation to a Recognised Body, means a person
who is: (a) a member of the Recognised Body, if the Recognised Body is a Company and its affairs are managed by its members; (b) a director of the Recognised Body, if the Recognised Body is a Company and paragraph (a) does not apply; (c) a partner, if the Recognised Body is a partnership; (d) a LLP member, if the Recognised Body is a
Limited Liability Partnership;(e) a member of its governing body, if the Recognised Body is an unincorporated body (other than a partnership); and (f) a Licensed Conveyancer, if sub-paragraphs (a)- (e) do not apply and the affairs of the
Recognised Body are not managed by another Licensed Conveyancer;
“Permitted Person” a solicitor regulated by the Law Society, a barrister regulated by the General Council of the Bar, a notary public regulated by the Master of the Faculties, a
fellow regulated by the Institute of Legal Executives, a patent attorney regulated by the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, a trade mark attorney regulated by the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys, a law costs draftsman regulated by the Association of Law Costs Draftsmen and such other individuals authorised by any other Legal Regulator to provide Reserved Legal Services;
“Probate Services” services limited to the drawing or preparation of any papers on which to found or oppose a grant of probate or grant of letters of administration and the
administration of the estate of a deceased person;
“Qualified Person” a Licensed Conveyancer; or a Permitted Person;
“Recognised Body” a body recognised by the Council under section 32 of the 1985 Act to provide Regulated Services to the public;
“Regulated Services” Conveyancing Services and such other services, including Probate Services, in respect of which a Licensed Conveyancer is regulated by the Council;
“Reserved Legal Services” the right to conduct litigation, rights of audience, probate services, administration of oaths, notarial activities and conveyancing services.

3. Entitlement to Provide Regulated Services

3. 1 A Licensed Conveyancer must
3. 1. 1 comply with the Council’s Rules which relate to that Licensed Conveyancer;
3. 1. 2 ensure that the Recognised Body of which he is a Manager complies with the Council’s Rules which relate to that Recognised Body.
3. 2 A Licensed Conveyancer must:
3. 2. 1 comply with the Guidance Notes unless he has good reason for not doing so in the particular circumstances;
3. 2. 2 ensure that the Recognised Body of which he is a Manager complies with the Guidance Notes unless it has good reason for not doing so in the particular  circumstances.
3. 3 A Licensed Conveyancer shall only provide Regulated Services to the public:-
3. 3. 1 as a Manager of a Recognised Body; or
3. 3. 2 as a Manager of an body regulated by a Legal Regulator other than the Council;
3. 3. 3 If neither rule 3. 3. 1 nor rule 3. 3. 2 is applicable, as an employee of a Recognised Body or of a body regulated by a Legal Regulator other than the Council.
3. 4 A Manager who is not a Licensed Conveyancer must:
3. 4. 1 comply with the Council’s Rules so far as they relate to the provision of Regulated Services and is treated for this purpose as a Licensed Conveyancer;
3. 4. 2 ensure that the Recognised Body of which he is a Manager complies with the Council’s Rules in the provision of Regulated Services.
3. 5 Control of a Recognised Body must be from a permanent fixed address in England or Wales.
3. 6 All Communications must include:-
3. 6. 1 the principal address of the Recognised Body;
3. 6. 2 the names of the Managers of a Recognised Body (identifying each Manager who is a Licensed Conveyancer); and
3. 6. 3 the words “Regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers”.
3. 7 There must be displayed at the principal office of a Recognised Body:-
3. 7. 1 the current Licence of any Manager who is a Licensed Conveyancer;
3. 7. 2 the current certificate of recognition issued by the Council.
3. 8 There must be displayed at each branch office of a Recognised Body:-
3. 8. 1 a duplicate of the current licence of any Manager who is a Licensed Conveyancer;
3. 8. 2 a duplicate of the current certificate of recognition issued by the Council;
3. 8. 3 a notice giving the address of the principal office of the Recognised Body.

4. Conduct of a Licensed Conveyancer

4. 1 A Licensed Conveyancer must:-
4. 1. 1 act with integrity and honesty ;
4. 1. 2 act with reasonable care, skill and diligence;
4. 1. 3 not take, and must not permit anyone on his behalf to take, any action which may bring disrepute to the profession;
4. 1. 4 comply with a direction of the Council;
4. 1. 5 neither directly nor indirectly discriminate against nor treat less favourably any person because of their ethnic or national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, education, age or disability;
4. 2 A Licensed Conveyancer must obtain permission from the Council before offering Regulated Services:
4. 2. 1 as a new business;
4. 2. 2 in an body regulated by a Legal Regulator other than the Council; or
4. 2. 3 through a Recognised Body with a Manager who is not a Licensed Conveyancer.
4. 3 A Licensed Conveyancer must when practising in an body regulated by a Legal
Regulator other than the Council:
4. 3. 1 comply with the rules of that Legal Regulator to the extent that they differ from the Council’s Rules save that at all times the Licensed Conveyancer must comply with rule 4. 1;
4. 3. 2 at all times keep paramount the interests of the Client except as required by law or by the rules of that Legal Regulator; and
4. 3. 3 keep confidential all information about the Client except as authorised by the Client or as required by law or by the rules of that Legal Regulator;
4. 3. 4 when acting in matters not regulated by the Council, not communicate in a way which states or implies he is undertaking the work as a Licensed Conveyancer.
4. 4 A Licensed Conveyancer must when offering or providing Regulated Services
through a Recognised Body:
4. 4. 1 ensure that all the Managers and employees of the Recognised Body comply with the Council’s Rules where they apply;
4. 4. 2 when acting as a Licensed Conveyancer only accept instructions to act in a matter which is regulated by the Council;
4. 4. 3 when acting in matters not regulated by the Council, not communicate in a way which states or implies he is undertaking the work as a Licensed Conveyancer;
4. 4. 4 when undertaking work which is not regulated by the Council or by another Legal Regulator, inform the Client in writing that such work is not so regulated and that it is not covered by indemnity insurance taken out in accordance with the Council’s Rules;
4. 4. 5 immediately notify the Council in writing of any breach of the Council’s
Rules by him or by any of the Managers or employees of the Recognised Body;
4. 4. 6 not conduct himself in a manner which he knows or has reasonable grounds for suspecting will result in a breach by the Licensed Conveyancer of the law or of the Council’s Rules;
4. 4. 7 comply fully with any undertaking given by him, the Recognised Body or any employee of that Recognised Body;
4. 4. 8 never give false or misleading information relating to the provision of Regulated Services to any person;
4. 4. 9 promptly comply with any request for information made by the Council as authorised by statute or by the Council’s Rules;
4. 4. 10 promptly notify the Council in writing of any facts or matters which may give rise to a claim under the Council’s Compensation Fund;
4. 4. 11 promptly notify his insurers in writing of any facts or matters which may give rise to a claim under the Council’s Indemnity Policy;
4. 4. 12 cease to provide Regulated Services for any period for which the current evidence of insurance issued to the Recognised Body has been avoided.
4. 5 With the exception of unsolicited telephone calls or unsolicited visits a Licensed
Conveyancer or a Manager may promote Regulated Services through any
means provided that a person may freely choose a practitioner to act on his behalf.
4. 6 A Recognised Body must:-
4. 6. 1 conduct business under a name which is not misleading;
4. 6. 2 ensure all Regulated Services are either carried out by or effectively supervised and directed by a Qualified Person;
4. 6. 3 keep information and records relating to Regulated Services safe on a Durable Medium;
4. 6. 4 have in place an appropriate written complaints procedure;
4. 6. 5 have in place appropriate management arrangements and systems to ensure compliance with the Council’s Rules.
4. 6. 6 comply promptly with any request for information or documents made by the Council to enable it:
4. 6. 6. 1 or the insurers of the Indemnity Policy, to determine the Recognised Body’s contribution to the Indemnity Policy;
4. 6. 6. 2 to determine the amount of the Recognised Body’s contribution to the Council’s compensation fund; and
4. 6. 6. 3 to act in accordance with the Council’s Statutory Duty, including without limitation for the purpose of ascertaining whether it is or has been in breach of any of the Council’s Rules.

5. Conduct towards Clients

5. 1 A Licensed Conveyancer must:-

5. 1. 1 at all times keep paramount the interests of the Client except as required by law or by the Council’s Rules;
5. 1. 2 keep confidential all information about the Client except as authorised by the Client or as required by law or the Council’s Rules;
5. 1. 3 not accept instructions from a person nor continue to act for any Client whose interests conflict directly or indirectly with his own or those of the Recognised Body, or with those of any other Client;
5. 1. 4 cease acting in any matter if the Client so instructs.
5. 2 A Licensed Conveyancer, in the provision of Regulated Services, must:-
5. 2. 1 except as permitted in guidance issued by the Council, act only for one Client in a matter unless each Client is informed in writing in advance that the Recognised Body has been asked to act for another Client; each Client is at all times represented by different Qualified Persons and those Qualified Persons conduct themselves in the matter as though they were members of different entities;
5. 2. 2 on the granting or redemption of a mortgage not act for himself nor for any Client prohibited by the instructions of any lender;
5. 2. 3 only accept instructions within his professional competence;
5. 2. 4 only undertake matters within his professional competence;
5. 2. 5 advise a Client to seek legal or other advice where a matter is beyond his professional competence;
5. 2. 6 only seek to exclude or limit liability with the informed written consent of
the Client;
5. 2. 7 ensure that all Communications are clear, fair and not misleading;
5. 2. 8 disclose to a Client in writing, as soon as they are known to the Licensed Conveyancer, the existence and amount of any sum payable by or to the Licensed Conveyancer arising, whether directly or indirectly, from the Client’s instructions;
5. 2. 9 keep safe Client information and records on a Durable Medium until delivered to the Client or disposed of in accordance with guidance issued by the Council;
5. 2. 10 before or when accepting instructions, set out in writing to the Client the terms on which instructions are accepted, an estimate of costs and the Recognised Body’s complaints procedure;
5. 2. 11 where a complaint is received comply with the Recognised Body’s complaints procedure;
5. 2. 12 keep the Client properly informed;
5. 2. 13 not delay completion because his fees are outstanding (for this purpose
fees do not include disbursements);
5. 2. 14 with the authority of his seller Client at once disclose in writing to all prospective buyers any instruction to submit contracts to more than one prospective buyer: if the seller Client refuses to give such authority immediately cease to act.
5. 3 After giving its Client reasonable notice in writing with reasons a Recognised Body may cease acting in any matter where it is reasonable for it to do so.

6. Requirement to Report

6. 1 A Recognised Body shall immediately notify the Council in writing if it intends to
employ or pay or if it becomes aware that it is employing or paying any person to whom Rule 6. 2 applies.
6. 2 A Recognised Body shall not, except with the written permission of the Council,
employ or pay or continue to employ or pay any person to provide Regulated
Services who is known to that Recognised Body:-
6. 2. 1 to be subject to an Order revoking or suspending his Licence or disqualifying him from holding a Licence;
6. 2. 2 to be convicted of a criminal offence involving fraud, dishonesty or deception or an indictable offence which has not been spent by virtue of a period of rehabilitation without offending under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
6. 2. 3 to have had the Council’s powers of intervention under the 1985 Act exercised against him, against a body in which he was a principal, partner or employee or against a Recognised Body in which he was a Manager or employee;
6. 2. 4 as a member of another profession, to have had an Order made against him by his professional body (other than an Order which provides only for the payment of costs by him); or
6. 2. 5 to be subject to an Order under section 43(2) Solicitors’ Act 1974. , or to
have been found guilty of an offence under section 44(1), (1A), (1B) or (1C) of that Act.
6. 3 A Licensed Conveyancer must immediately notify the Council in writing if to his
knowledge he or any Manager in the Recognised Body:-
6. 3. 1 is a person to whom any of the provisions of Rule 6. 2 applies;
6. 3. 2 has failed to satisfy a civil judgement;
6. 3. 3 is an undischarged bankrupt or has made a composition or arrangement with creditors unless:-
(i) the bankruptcy is annulled either on the ground that he ought not to have been adjudged bankrupt or, where he is not subject to a bankruptcy restrictions order or interim order, on the ground that his debts have been paid in full on the date of annulment; or
(ii) in the case of a composition or arrangement with his creditors, he pays his debts in full on the date on which payment is completed or on the expiration of five years from the date on which the terms of the deeds of composition or arrangement are fulfilled;
6. 3. 4 has been a director of a company which has gone into liquidation on the grounds of insolvency;
6. 3. 5 has been a Licensed Conveyancer in, or Manager of, a Recognised Body which has had a certificate of recognition refused, revoked or made subject to conditions;
6. 3. 6 has had an order made against him by a Legal Regulator;
6. 3. 7 was, in relation to an body which is the subject of a order made by a Legal Regulator, a Licensed Conveyancer or a Manager at the time of the act or omission complained of;
6. 3. 8 lacks capacity (within the meaning of the Mental Capacity Act 2005) and powers under section 15 to 20 or section 48 of that Act have been exercised in relation to that person.

7. Inspection and Disciplinary Consequences

7. 1 In order to monitor compliance with the Council’s Rules, a Licensed Conveyancer must at the time and place fixed by the Council produce to any person appointed by the Council all information held on a Durable Medium relating to the Recognised Body (to include his records, papers, files and financial accounts) reasonably required to enable the preparation of a report to the Council.
7. 2 A report made following an inspection under rule 7. 1 may be used as part of any
investigation under section 24 of the 1985 Act.
7. 3 If it appears to the Council that there has been a contravention of any of the
Council’s Rules, a Licensed Conveyancer is liable to disciplinary proceedings and sanction under sections 24 and 26 of the 1985 Act and a Recognised Body is liable to disciplinary proceedings under schedule 6 of the 1985 Act.