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CLC consults on 10 per cent rise to practice fees

  • 16/08/2023
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CLC consults on 10 per cent rise to practice fees
The Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) is consulting with its members on changes to current practice fee rates with proposals to increase this by up to 10 per cent.

There are no proposed changes to individual practicing fees. 

The council said fee rates were calculated using turnover figures submitted to insurers every June, which is when practices renew their professional indemnity insurance (PII). The turnover declarations are used to calculate the practice fee payable for the next licensing period. 

The CLC last changed practice fees in 2021 when it reduced its rates by 23 per cent. 

It said aggregate practice turnover had fallen by more than four per cent for the first time since 2009, which meant its revenue would also decrease. Alongside this, it said the costs and requirements of oversight regulators were rising. 

The CLC is also proposing a freeze on contributions to its compensation fund and the Legal Ombudsman levy allocation. In 2021, the council removed the cost of Legal Ombudsman fees from practices and charged firms based on complaints numbers. This is now collected as a basic fee that all firms pay and a usage fee based on the number of cases that have been accepted for review by the ombudsman. 

Sheila Kumar, chief executive of CLC, said: “We have worked hard over many years to keep our costs as low as possible whilst developing our regulatory role proportionate to risk and in the consumer interest. Since 2016, we have reduced the practice fee contribution rates by 61 per cent and our compensation fund contributions by 60 per cent.  

“The CLC will need to run a surplus budget to maintain and grow reserves to protect against future uncertainty and business needs. We understand the financial pressures that everyone is facing and the CLC is not immune from these. The work we have done in previous years to implement a cost effective, scalable and flexible regulatory model means the increase will have only a small impact on an individual practice but taken together will enable us to continue to be the regulator we need to be. 

“Because the CLC is funded by the practices and individuals that we regulate, it is important that they, and other stakeholders, have an opportunity to review and comment on the source and application of the funding. This helps to ensure the burden on practices and individuals is kept to a minimum while ensuring that we have sufficient resources to execute our statutory objectives.” 

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