Solicitors’ firms starting to switch regulator


Kumar: Promoting competition

Solicitors’ firms are moving their whole practices or conveyancing departments to the oversight of the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC), it has emerged.

The CLC has announced five new firms under its regulation following a change in the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA) rules that make it easier for law firms to switch regulators.

Clutton Cox in Bristol – headed by well-known conveyancer Paul Hajek – and Nottingham’s Fidler & Pepper Lawyers, the 90-staff Nottinghamshire firm known for its early adoption of technology, both became CLC regulated last week.

Meanwhile, three SRA-regulated firms have moved their conveyancing practices into separate CLC-licensed firms: EHL Conveyancing in Leicester – part of the EHL Group, which owns law firm Edward Hands & Lewis – Cumbrian based Poole Townsend Estates, part of the eponymous law firm, and online firm Your Conveyancer.

Last year, the SRA removed the requirement that firms must obtain six years of indemnity insurance run-off cover before switching to another regulator

Under a protocol between the regulators, the CLC is responsible for making sure the firms have adequate insurance available for future claims, including claims for work carried out or started before the switch.

CLC chief executive Sheila Kumar said: “We are excited to see that firms are taking advantage of the freedom to choose to move to a specialist regulatory regime that supports innovation.

“This is an important driver for the promotion of competition in the provision of legal services, one of the regulatory objectives in the Legal Services Act 2007.”




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