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LSB rejects bid by licensed conveyancers to move into litigation and advocacy

5 April 2012

The Legal Services Board has rejected an application by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers to regulate litigation and advocacy.

In its decision notice, the LSB said the CLC had “failed to demonstrate an appropriate understanding of the specific risks of the new activities”.

The CLC, which regulates conveyancing and probate work, became the first ABS licensing authority in September last year.

It applied to the LSB to extend its remit to litigation and advocacy in February 2011. The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, made it clear that he was strongly opposed to the move.

In the decision notice the LSB said, in order to grant the application, it needed to be satisfied that the CLC had “effective regulatory arrangements and will have the capability and capacity to be an effective regulator at the time that designation is granted”.

The LSB said the key to this was that the applicant needed to be able to demonstrate that they had a “good understanding” of the risks and issues presented by the activities.

“The Board concluded that this assessment gave them a degree of assurance that the CLC is a good regulator of the activities for which they are currently approved. “However, the CLC had not demonstrated that it has completed a detailed risk analysis for the new activities and the absence of this meant that the board could not say that it was satisfied that they regulatory arrangements were appropriate nor that the CLC had sufficient competence and capacity to be a regulator of these activities.”

In a letter to Anna Bradley, chair of the CLC, Chris Kenny, chief executive of the LSB, said the decision did not “in any way” affect the CLC’s current status.

“Indeed, as is noted in the decision notice, this process has given us a degree of assurance on the effectiveness of the CLC as a regulator in relation to its current legal activities,” he said.

“As we have agreed, my team are willing to work with you towards resolution of the issues which have led us to this decision.”

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