Licensed conveyancers are qualified, professional property lawyers who specialise in the legal aspects surrounding buying and selling property in England and Wales. They are also commissioners for oaths, which means that they have legal authority to administer and witness official documents (eg, affidavits to swear that a statement is the truth).
What do they do?
A licensed conveyancer will ensure that all documentation, contracts and financial arrangements associated with buying or selling a residential or commercial property or piece of land are in order. They can do everything that a solicitor can do in a conveyancing transaction – they have the same legal authority to act, plus, they are experts because they are specialists.
Where do they work?
Licensed conveyancers can work anywhere that deals with the transfer of a title to property or land in a legal department headed by a qualified person. The scope of employment is not limited to a law firm; it ranges from housing associations and local authorities, across banks and building societies to property development companies and even railways and airports.
Council for Licensed Conveyancers
The Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) is the regulatory body for licensed conveyancers and probate practitioners. The awarding body, the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), has developed a suite of four new diplomas in partnership with CLC; two at Level 4 and two at Level 6. Learners can choose between Conveyancing Law and Practice or Probate Law and Practice, both of which can be studied at each level. The diplomas have replaced the previous CLC qualifications and are regulated by Ofqual.
The diplomas help employers to meet skills gaps and provide continuing professional development for staff, while candidates gain knowledge and skills needed for competence and progression in the workplace. They can also be offered to people who wish to gain employment in the sector.
Becoming a licensed conveyancer
Many trainee conveyancers value the fact that they can study for their qualification while earning a living and taking advantage of the flexible study methods that are available. It is possible to choose a distance learning programme or classroom-based programme (covid-19 dependent) where offered by an approved provider.
Level 4 Diploma Conveyancing Law & Practice
Entry is at the discretion of the centre. Candidates do not need to have formal relevant qualifications to enter this regulated qualification. Good communication skills, both oral and written, are required. Current experience of working within a legal practice setting would be advantageous but is not mandatory.
Level 6 Diploma Conveyancing Law & Practice
Entry is at the discretion of the training centre. However, it is a prerequisite that candidates hold one of the following:
the Level 4 Diploma in Conveyancing Law and Practice;
a law degree;
a postgraduate qualification (eg, GDL);
CILEx qualification level 6; or
relevant legal practice course (at diploma level).