What do Chartered Legal Executive Lawyers do?
A fully qualified Chartered Legal Executive
lawyer can become a partner in a firm of solicitors, and (with
further training) can go on to become a legal executive Advocate.
The names and status of Chartered Legal Executive lawyers can
appear on the professional notepaper of the law firm that they work
in. 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
(usually as grade C or D, depending on their level of academic
training). This is an important difference between trainee Legal
Executives and legal support staff who tend to handle work of a
more routine nature.
Chartered Legal Executive lawyers are able to
act as Commissioners for Oaths. In English law, a Commissioner of
Oaths is a person appointed by the Lord Chancellor with power to
administer oaths or take affidavits. All Chartered Legal Executives
have these powers but must not use them in proceedings in which
they are acting for any of the parties or in which they have an
Chartered Legal Executives can give advice on
compromise agreements, which is a legally binding agreement,
usually between an employee and employer, when the parties want to
set out the terms and conditions reached when a contract of
employment is to be terminated or a dispute is to be resolved.
Fellows are licensed by the BarDirect committee of the Bar Council
to instruct barristers directly without first going through a
Chartered Legal Executives can also act as
claim managers under the Compensation Act if regulated by
CILEx. CILEx is a designated professional body for the
purposes of regulating immigration advisers.
Chartered Legal Executives of three years'
good standing can sign client account cheques drawn on their
principal's client account (Solicitors Account Rules 1991).
In general, Chartered Legal Executive lawyers
cannot appear in open court in the High Court, county court and
magistrates' court. However, Chartered Legal Executive
lawyers are allowed to appear in relation to certain unopposed
applications in the county court and applications for judgment by
consent. They may also appear in county court arbitrations and
before tribunals at the discretion of the court/tribunal. This is
under the general discretionary power of the court or tribunal.
Chartered Legal Executives employed by local
authorities or housing management organisations (exercising local
authority housing functions) can also exercise certain rights of
audience in the magistrates' courts and county courts acting on
behalf of their local authority or housing management employer
along with other employees.
Becoming 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, including the right to become a partner in a firm, means
that the role and standing of Chartered Legal Executive lawyers is
now pretty much the same as that of solicitors anyway. Find out more about the difference between
Chartered Legal Executive lawyers, solicitors and barristers.
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.
- Chartered Legal Executive lawyers most often
specialise in the following areas of law:
- Civil litigation (such as Personal Injury; Debt recovery;
- Criminal litigation (either Defence or Prosecution)
- Family law
- Public law work (such as working in a Local Authority; in
Government; Welfare benefits; or Immigration)
- Private client (such as Finance; or Probate and wills)
- Corporate (Company or Commercial law)
- Legal Practice (Practice management; or Costs and accounts