Practising Fellows of The Chartered Institute of Legal
Executives specialise in a particular area of law which means the
everyday work of a Chartered Legal Executive lawyer is similar to
that of a solicitor.
The areas of law that Chartered Legal Executive lawyers most
often specialise in are as follows:
- Civil litigation (such as Personal Injury;
Debt recovery; Housing; Employment)
- Criminal litigation (either Defence or
- Public law work (such as working in a
Local Authority; in Government; Welfare benefits; or
- Private client (such as Finance; or
Probate and wills)
- Corporate (Company or Commercial law)
- Legal Practice (Practice management; or
Costs and accounts work).
Depending upon which area of law they work in, Chartered Legal
Executive lawyers may handle the legal aspects of a property
transfer, be involved in actions in the High Court or County
Courts, draft wills, draw up documents to assist in the formation
of a company, or advise husbands and wives with matrimonial
problems or clients accused of serious or petty crime.
A Chartered Legal Executive lawyer is
normally an employee, may be associate and Fellows can go on
to become a partner in a law firm or a Chartered Legal
Executive Advocate. The names and status of Fellows may
appear on the professional notepaper of the solicitors by whom they
Alternatively, a Chartered Legal Executive lawyer may be
self-employed and provide legal services to solicitors and
unregulated legal work to the public business.
Chartered Legal Executive lawyers are fee earners. In private
practice, their work is charged directly to clients making a direct
contribution to the income of a law firm. This is possible having
achieved the Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice.
This is an important difference between Chartered Legal
Executive lawyers and legal support staff who tend to handle work
of a more routine nature. Professional responsibilities increase
with experience and Fellows of CILEx become one of the main points
of contact for clients seeking professional advice on legal
matters. Chartered Legal Executive lawyers may also run specialist
departments in a legal firm.
Legal Executive lawyers are able to act as Commissioners for
Oaths, and Fellows of three years good standing may sign cheques
drawn on their principals’ client account (Solicitors’ Accounts
With extended rights of audience in civil, criminal and family
proceedings, those Fellows who train and qualify as Legal Executive
Advocates can represent their clients in the County Court, Family
Proceedings Court, Magistrates' Court including the Youth Court,
Coroners Court and in most Tribunals depending on the area of law
in which they practice.
Fellows who are employed in a solicitors firm are able to advise
on compromise agreements. Fellows are licensed by the BarDirect
committee of the Bar Council to instruct barristers directly
without first going through a solicitor.
Chartered Legal Executive lawyers have the option to become
solicitors in one or two years after becoming Fellows and usually
are exempt from the training contract graduates must complete to
qualify as solicitors. However, new emerging rights means that the
role and standing of Chartered Legal Executive lawyers and
solicitors is moving ever closer.