Conveyancing practiceI’m a Chartered Legal Executive, and the Land Registry have sent documents back to me saying that I do not have authority to sign them, I’ve worked in conveyancing for years.
The Land Registry define conveyancer for the purposes of its rules, via Rule 217A of the Land Registration Rules 2003 (introduced by The Land Registration (Amendment) Rules 2011), as an authorised person entitled to carry on the relevant instrument activities in accordance with the regulatory arrangements of the relevant approved regulator.
This means a ‘conveyancer’ is an authorised person within the meaning of s18 of the Legal Services Act 2007 (‘the 2007 Act’), who is authorised and so entitled to provide the conveyancing services referred to paragraph 5 of schedule 2 of the 2007 Act.
The 2011 Regulations were introduced by the Land Registry to bring its rules in line with the 2007 Act, specifically for the introduction of Alternative Business Structures. Prior to the change (then) Legal Executives were included within the definition of conveyancer.
As a result of the impact on our members (as this was prior to being able to obtain independent practice rights, which are mentioned below), CILEX made a submission to the Land Registry around ID1 and ID2 forms, and the inability of our Fellows to sign them, particularly as it did not form part of the conveyancing transaction under the definition of reserved instrument activities. Following our submission and discussions, ID1 and ID2 forms were amended to allow Chartered Legal Executives to sign.
Chartered Legal Executives and authorisation
Upon qualification, the reserved legal activity that a Chartered Legal Executive is authorised to undertake is ‘the administration of oaths’. This is referred to on the Practising Certificate as being authorised to exercise the powers of a Commissioner for Oaths under s183 of the 2007 Act, which enables a person authorised for the administration of oaths to use the title ‘Commissioner for Oaths’.
Rights to undertake reserved instrument activities
Following a successful application to the Legal Services Board, and the parliamentary process that followed, the Legal Services Act 2007 (Approved Regulator) (No2) Order 2014 designated CILEX as an Approved Regulator under Schedule 4 of the 2007 to authorise individuals for reserved instrument activities.
Therefore, those who go through the application process, which is set and assessed by CILEx Regulation, can be an authorised person for reserved instrument activities, and therefore will be a conveyancer under the Land Registry Rules. This can be either under a portfolio route, a new route, involving and assessment or prior learning and assessment. You can read about both of these routes here and here.