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What is a Conveyancer

What is a Conveyancer

A solicitor who specialises in property law is also known as a conveyancer and is usually a member of the Law Society.  However, in 1987 legislation was passed to remove the monopoly on professional conveyancing services from solicitors as well and are now there are other conveyancers known a Licenced Conveyancers or Property Lawyers who are members of the Council for Licensed Conveyancers. The individual and the practice have to undergo a rigorous examination by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers before they are allowed to call themselves Licensed Conveyancers, and the Council enforces a rigid code of conduct.

A Licensed Conveyancer

This is a specialist legal professional in the United Kingdom, who has been trained to deal with all aspects of property law.   Typically, their tasks might include:

  • Taking instructions from a client in relation to the sale or purchase of land or property
  • Conducting searches in relation to the property with local authorities  Advising clients of any incurred costs such as stamp duty land tax and legal fees
  • Drafting contracts setting out the terms of the sale of a property
  • Liaising with mortgage lenders (banks and building societies) to ensure they have all the relevant information
  • Paying costs on behalf of the client such as stamp duty and estate agent fees

Their role is very similar to that of a solicitor dealing with a property transaction.   However, rather than being qualified as a solicitor, they will have completed all of the examinations and practical training provided by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers and in addition to this, they will be at least 21 years of age and be considered by the CLC to be a fit and proper person to hold a licence.

They may be employed by firms of solicitors or other institutions such as banks and property developers. Alternatively, after holding three consecutive annual (limited) licences and being employed for at least three years, they may apply for a full licence and practise on their own or in a partnership.

A Licensed Conveyancer holding a limited licence is required to complete eight hours of professional training each year (CPD – Continuing Professional Development training). Licensed Conveyancers with a full licence must complete 12 hours of professional training each year. A large part of this training must relate to property law and practice.

Like solicitors and barristers, Licensed Conveyancers are also Commissioners for Oaths. A Commissioner for Oaths is a person appointed by the Lord Chancellor with power to administer oaths or take affidavits.

End of section – What is a Conveyancer