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Deregulation Act 2015

Schedule 20: The Council for Licensed Conveyancers: other amendments

817.This Schedule contains amendments relating to the Council for Licensed Conveyancers.

818.Paragraph 2 amends section 15 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985 to allow the CLC to prescribe in rules the period which is to apply for the purposes of section 15(3)(b) (time within which an application for a licence is deemed to be refused). This replaces the current fixed period of 42 days.

819.Paragraph 3 amends section 18 of the AJA 1985 (suspension or termination of licences) to provide certain circumstances in which the licence of a licensed conveyancer would be suspended because of action being taken against the recognised body of which the licensed conveyancer is a manager or, in certain cases, an employee. Paragraph 3 also amends section 18 to provide certain circumstances in which the licence of a licensed conveyancer will be suspended because of action being taken against the licensed body of which that person is a manager or employee.

820.Inserted section 18(2CA) and (2CB) relates to the powers in paragraphs 6(1) and 9(1) of Schedule 5 to the AJA 1985. Paragraph 6(1) of Schedule 5 to the AJA 1985 allows the CLC to take control of money held by recognised bodies. Paragraph 9(1) allows the CLC to require the production of documents by a recognised body. Those powers may be exercised if the CLC is satisfied that a recognised body or a manager of such a body has failed to comply with rules applicable by virtue of section 32 of the AJA 1985 (paragraph 10(1)(a) of Schedule 6 to that Act). If the powers in paragraph 6(1) or 9(1) are exercised for this reason, inserted section 18(2CA) would operate automatically to suspend the licence under Part 2 of the AJA 1985 of any manager of the body. Those powers may also be exercised if the CLC has reason to suspect dishonesty on the part of a manager or employee of a recognised body in connection with the body’s business, any trust of which the body is or was a trustee or any trust of which the manager or employee is or was a trustee (paragraph 10(1)(d) of Schedule 6 to the AJA 1985). If the powers in paragraph 6(1) or 9(1) are exercised for this reason, inserted section 18(2CB) would operate automatically to suspend the licence under Part 2 of the AJA 1985 of any manager or employee of the recognised body.

821.Inserted section 18(2CC) relates to the powers in paragraphs 3(1) and 8(1) of Schedule 14 to the Legal Services Act 2007. Paragraph 3(1) is about a licensing authority taking control of money held by a licensed body and paragraph 8(1) is about a licensing authority requiring the production of documents. Like paragraph 10(1)(d) of Schedule 6 to the AJA 1985, paragraph 1(2)(d) of Schedule 14 to the LSA 2007 allows the powers in paragraph 3(1) or 8(1) to be exercised if the licensing authority has reason to suspect dishonesty on the part of a manager or employee of a licensed body. If those powers are exercised for that reason, inserted section 18(2CC) would operate automatically to suspend the licence under Part 2 of the AJA 1985 of any manager or employee of the licensed body.

822.Under inserted section 18(2CD) the CLC is able to direct that a suspension is not to apply to a particular licensed conveyancer. Inserted section 18(2CE) sets out the permitted grounds for giving such a direction (in essence, that the person is not implicated in the wrongdoing or was not a manager or employee at the time of the wrongdoing). Inserted section 18(2CF) allows the CLC to direct that a licensed conveyancer may continue to act in relation to a specified matter.

823.Paragraph 3(4) amends section 18(2G) of the AJA 1985 so that the right of appeal to the High Court becomes a right of appeal to the First-tier Tribunal. Paragraph 3(5) repeals section 18(2H), which relates to High Court orders as to costs, because there is provision elsewhere for First-tier Tribunal costs.

824.Paragraph 4 amends section 19 of the AJA 1985 to allow the CLC to make rules specifying further information, including information on disciplinary measures taken, to be included on the register of licensed conveyancers.

825.Paragraph 5 repeals section 20(2) of the AJA 1985 because it is no longer needed.

826.Paragraphs 6, 7, 8 and 10 amend provisions in sections 24, 24A and 26 of, and Schedule 6 to, the AJA 1985 concerning appeals. The venue for appeals under those provisions is changed from the High Court to the First-tier Tribunal, and provisions relating to appeals that are no longer needed are omitted. Section 26(7) and paragraph 6 of Schedule 6 are amended so that the CLC would also be able to appeal.

827.Paragraph 9 amends paragraph 4(2) of Schedule 3 to the AJA 1985 so that the number of the lay majority on the Council does not need to exceed the number of the other members of the Council by exactly one.

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