Conveyancing training revisited after competition tribunal ruling
26 May 2017
The Law Society of England and Wales today announced it will look again at the training elements of its Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) in response to a ruling by the Competition Appeal Tribunal.
The tribunal found that for a short period – from April 2015 – the Law Society should have permitted third party trainers to offer some of the modules for the scheme. CQS has been running since 2010.
Only one of the modules that concerned the tribunal was still provided – the Financial Crime module – and that has now been withdrawn.
Law Society president Robert Bourns said: “For the vast bulk of the time CQS training has been available it has been compliant with competition rules. I am certain that in setting CQS up, the Law Society acted in good faith and in the public interest.
“The purpose of CQS – and its effect – was to ensure greater consumer choice in terms of practitioners available to undertake this important work.
“We note the decision and have and will take steps to avoid similar issues in the future.
“Purchasing a house is the biggest investment most people make, and they need to feel confidence in the process, as do lenders. That was always our motivation – CQS has never been about profit.
“We are grateful to the tribunal for their guidance on changes to CQS that they make in their ruling and we will be looking at their comments as a matter of priority in the coming days.”