How The Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) Investigates Complaints

All conveyancing and probate professionals who are regulated by the Council for Licenced Conveyancers (CLC) can be investigated by the body if allegations of misconduct are made. All regulated conveyancers are expected to comply with the CLC’s Regulatory Arrangements which set out not only a Code of Conduct, but an Anti-Money-Laundering & Combating Terrorist Financing Code, Accounts Code, Complaints Code, Conflict of Interest Code, and Equality Code, to name but a few. The CLC divides complaints into three categories: • […]

Defending Disciplinary Action By the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC)

The role of the conveyancer is often underestimated. While under pressure from all sides to bring transactions to a successful conclusion, conveyancers must ensure that key issues are not mishandled or ignored, as doing so may later cause unforeseen consequences. Not thoroughly reading through forms completed by the client, failing to spot an important restrictive covenant, or not realising that a neighbour has the right of way across a property being purchased are just some examples of where errors may […]

The SRA Accounts Rules (And What Happens When Your Breach Them)

In 2015, former Law Society council member Michael Webster was jailed for eight months after being found guilty of making five fraudulent transactions from his law firm’s client account to the value of £75,605.27. Mr Webster, who was also struck off the Roll of Solicitors, was ordered to pay £48,000 to a Latvian-based indemnity insurer. Client account discrepancies can cause the public to lose trust in the legal profession; therefore, it is taken extremely seriously. In 2015, 19% of cases […]

A Solicitors Guide To Fee Sharing and Referrals

Many law firms rely on business being referred from other practices or other third parties. However, this practice is strictly monitored by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to ensure the best interests of the client and ongoing trust in the legal profession is protected. In January 2018, a personal injury sole practitioner was suspended for two and a half years and ordered to pay £50,000 in costs after admitting to paying unlawful referral fees for claims and running cases which […]

The ‘Uberisation’ Of The Legal Profession

The Solicitors Regulation Authority last month outlined plans to allow solicitors to practice on a freelance basis. They would not be required to register as a sole practitioner or be employed by a regulated firm. Unsurprisingly, many in the profession have thrown their hands up in horror at the idea of allowing solicitors to work unregulated and on a freelance basis. The Law Society has accused the regulator of turning the legal sector into a “wild west marketplace”. Although some […]

What Constitutes A Breach Of Solicitor’s Undertaking?

An undertaking is a commitment by a solicitor to do something or not do something. Failing to comply with an undertaking can result in disciplinary action being taken by the Solicitors Regulation Authority SRA). The definition of an undertaking An undertaking is defined as: an oral or written statement of an intention to do something or refrain from doing something (the word undertaking need to be included), which is made on behalf of you or the firm you work for […]

SRA Interventions Double Year-On-Year

A recent news report in the Law Society Gazette states that the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is intervening in more multi-office firms and has experienced a spike in the number of practices it has shut down . The regulator made 20 interventions between January and May this year, double the number in the same period last year. There has also been a notable increase in the number of medium-size firms being investigated. An intervention is the most dramatic action the […]

The SRA Decision-Making Process Explained

Being subject to a Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) investigation is certain to be a stressful experience for any firm. If you are a managing partner who suddenly finds their law firm being investigated by the SRA, the more knowledge you have about the regulatory body’s decision-making process, the better. A law firm can be investigated by the SRA if there is a report of misconduct or financial strife, resulting either from a complaint from the public or the firm conducting […]

Identity Fraud and Conveyancing – Is Your Firm at Risk?

Identity fraud is on the rise and conveyancing firms are increasingly preferred targets of online hackers and con-artists. It is not just small, high-street firms that are vulnerable. City firm Mishcon de Reya was found to be liable for breach of trust after its client was duped into buying a London property from a tenant posing as the owner and was ordered by the High Court to pay more than £1 million to the victim. However, a claim for negligence […]