The Difference between Chartered Legal Executives, Solicitors
Not all lawyers are solicitors or barristers.
Fully qualified and experienced Chartered Legal Executive lawyers
are able to undertake many of the legal activities that solicitors
The role of a solicitor
Solicitors give advice and assistance on
matters of law. Specifically, they are the first point of contact
for people and bodies (members of the public, companies and
charities) seeking skilled legal advice and representation. Most
solicitors work together in private practice, while others work in
central and local government, or in-house in a commercial or
The role of a barrister
Barristers offer advice on legal issues and
are on the front line, representing clients in court. They receive
their information and instructions through a client's solicitor.
When not appearing in court, they work in chambers where they
prepare their court cases and arguments.
The role of a Chartered Legal
As a general rule, a Chartered Legal Executive
lawyer is able to undertake all work that may be undertaken by a
solicitor under the supervision of a principal. So you are
essentially doing the same work though Chartered Legal Executives
tend to specialise in one area of law, unlike their solicitor
partners who may have trained and practiced across several
Chartered Legal Executive lawyers must adhere
to a code of conduct and, like solicitors, are required to continue
training throughout their careers in order to keep themselves
abreast of the latest developments in the law.
So you want to be your own
Typically, lawyers interested in
self-employment have followed the route to become a barrister and
those who wanted to work in partnership have become solicitors,
though Chartered Legal Executives can now become partners too.
Chartered Legal Executive lawyers do not yet
have independent practice rights (needed to set up their own firms)
but that is set to change. With the introduction of Alternative Business Structures in October
2011, Chartered Legal Executive lawyers will be able to set up
their own practices. So yes, you too will be able to ‘be your own