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Licensed Conveyancers

What is a Licensed Conveyancer?

Licensed conveyancers are specialist property lawyers. They can deal with all the legal, administrative, and financial requirements involved in buying or selling property or re-mortgaging a property already owned.


What services does a licensed conveyancer provide?

Anyone buying, selling, or re-mortgaging a property can carry out their own conveyancing. However, in practice it is not a good idea. Not only is the process very time consuming, but the potential to miss critical information, which either causes a delay to the transaction or creates financial and legal problems, is high. It is also usually a condition of a mortgage that the transaction is carried out by a property lawyer.

There are two types of professionals that can be instructed to deal with conveyancing matters: licensed conveyancers and solicitors.

A licensed conveyancer may act on behalf of the seller or the purchaser, and in certain circumstances, for both in the same transaction.

Some of the legal services a licensed conveyancer can provide include:

  • Preparing and agreeing contracts
  • Arranging transfers of ownership, mortgages and leases
  • Drafting documents for the sellers and purchasers to sign
  • Advice on shared ownership

Some licensed conveyancers are also authorised to provide probate services. These are the legal processes for administering the estate of someone who has died.

The preparation of transfers and contracts, leases and other instruments and applying for registration under the Land Registration Act 2002 is a “Reserved Legal Activity” as provided for by the Legal Services Act 2007 and so can only be carried out by a legal professional regulated by an approved regulator in the legal services sector. In short, this means that you must either be qualified as a licensed conveyancer or as a solicitor to carry out this work.

While a legal secretary will often provide a vital role in supporting a licensed conveyancer or solicitor in a conveyancing transaction, as the legal professional the licensed conveyancer or solicitor must be the person to draw up and check the contracts, check the mortgage offers and any settlement statements as well as any other legal documents. They must also analyse and verify the checks that must take place on a property prior to a transfer of ownership.

A licenced conveyancer is not a solicitor, but has received extensive training and development in conveyancing and is in fact solely focused on this particular area of law and is, therefore, a true specialist.

Licensed conveyancers are also commissioners for oaths, which means that they have the legal authority to administer and witness official documents (e.g., affidavits to swear that a statement is the truth).


Where does a licensed conveyancer work?

A licensed conveyancer works in the private client industry. Due to the nature of the work undertaken with the same regulatory body, a licenced conveyancer traditionally may work in a team alongside licensed probate practitioners. Alternatively, or in addition, a licensed conveyancer may work with solicitors dealing with private client work. A licensed conveyancer may also be a sole practitioner and so work for themselves.

Apart from other law firms, it is also possible to work in a number of other organisations such as:

  • Banks
  • Building societies
  • Property development companies
  • Civil service departments
  • Housing associations
  • Local authorities – in corporate services, planning or legal departments
  • Railways
  • Airports

The Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) regulates licensed conveyancers (and licensed probate practitioners), offering protection to consumers and a complaints service.


Career progression

There are many options for career progression as a licensed conveyancer, including qualifying as a solicitor via the SQE route. Find out more about the SQE here.

How to qualify

To qualify as a licensed conveyancer you need to complete the SQA/CLC Level 6 Diploma in Conveyancing together with the requisite hours of work experience.  To read more about the route to qualify please follow the links below.

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