If you want to buy or sell a house or other property in England or Wales, you will certainly require the services of licensed conveyancers. These are legal practitioners who specialize in property law. They oversee the transfer of property from sellers to buyers with a view of ensuring all relevant legal provisions are followed. This career is suitable for individuals with a high level of attention to detail and excellent problem-solving skills.
Being property law specialists, licensed conveyancers deal with several financial transactions and the vast paperwork involved in the transfer of property. Their duties include;
- Taking clients through the legal process of buying and selling property
- Conducting pre-contract searches to verify the property’s ownership documents
- Preparing contracts, leases and transfer documents, delivering them to buyers and sellers and finalizing transactions.
- Liaising with mortgage lenders, receiving funds and preparing mortgage deeds
- Keeping payment records and paying stamp taxes
- Ensuring registration of clients and lenders with the Land Registry.
Conveyancers work from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Those working in busy conveyancing firms may work seven days a week. Although conveyancers are mainly office-based, they often travel to meet clients or view property.
Salaries for licensed conveyancers vary with the level of experience a shown below;
Level of experience
Owners of conveyancing firms
Source: National Careers Service
The path to becoming a licensed conveyancer begins with earning postsecondary qualification in law. You can pursue any of the following courses;
- Institute of Legal Executives qualifications
- Graduate diploma in law
- Bachelor’s degree in law
- Legal practice course
After successful completion, you will need to pass the Council for Licensed Conveyancers exams to become a licensed conveyancer.
If you don’t wish to pursue a postsecondary course in law, you can begin CLC training as long as you have at least four GSSCEs at grade A to C, particularly in English or English literature. If you are currently working in a solicitor’s office and aged at least 18, you can qualify for CLC training and subsequent licensure with meeting these minimum qualifications.
Qualified solicitors looking to obtain a conveyancing license only need to apply to the CLC for a license to practice.
To be an effective conveyancer, you need to possess the following skills;
- Good spoken and written communication skills
- Excellent multitasking, record-keeping and IT skills
- Good mathematical and numeracy skills for computing financial calculations
- Ability to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines
- Good attention to detail to spot minor inaccuracies in various documents
- Good research and decision-making skills.
Training and Development
To obtain a conveyancing license, you must train under a licensed conveyancer or solicitor for a period of not less than two years, as well as pass CLC exams, which are offered in two parts as shown below.
- Introduction to Law and Legal Methods
- Introduction to Licensed Conveyancing
- Land law
- Law of Contract
- Landlord & Tenant
- Conveyancing Law & Practice
Holders of postsecondary courses in law may be exempt from some CLC exams and those with experience working in a legal environment may be exempt from fulfilling the practical training requirement.
Visit the CLS’s students’ page to find more information on the select colleges in England and Wales offering CLC training.
After meeting all the requirements, you will earn a ‘qualifying employment’ license, which you will hold for a period of three years before qualifying for a full license. With a full license, you can set up your own conveyancing firm.
Finally, it is important to note employed ‘qualifying employment’ license holders must complete six hours of continuous professional development every year, while those with full licenses must complete 12 hours every year.
Licensed conveyancers can find jobs in;
- Soliciting and conveyancing firms
- Local authorities
- Building societies
- Property developers
With vast knowledge and experience, you could become a conveyancing department manager or establish your own firm. You could also move into soliciting by pursuing further qualifications.
That’s all you need to become a licensed conveyancer. Good luck!