Code of Conduct
This is the Code of Conduct (the Code) of the Chartered
Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) and its regulatory body, ILEX
Professional Standards Limited (IPS). It sets out the principles to
which CILEx members, CILEx practitioners and CILEx Authorised
Entities must adhere in their conduct, practice and professional
performance, and the outcomes they must meet.
Membership and regulated practice carry both privileges and
responsibilities. They require that in your conduct, practice and
professional performance you:
- develop and use your professional knowledge and skills for the
benefit of those who use your services
- maintain good professional relationships with others
- act in a way that promotes confidence and trust in the legal
professions and the provision of legal services.
You must adhere to the following core principles in the work you
do and the decisions you make. The principles also help the public
to know the standards of behaviour that are expected of you.
1. Uphold the rule of law and the
impartial administration of justice.
2. Maintain high standards of
professional and personal conduct and justify public trust in you,
your profession and the provision of legal services.
3. Behave with honesty and
4. Comply with
your legal and regulatory obligations and deal with your regulators
and ombudsmen openly, promptly and co-operatively.
5. Act competently in the best interests
of your client and respect client confidentiality.
Treat everyone fairly and without
7. Ensure your independence is not
effectively and in accordance with proper governance and sound
financial and risk management principles.
9. Protect client money and assets.
You must comply with the Code whenever it applies to
you. Your professional and personal conduct will be judged against
it and a breach may lead to action being taken against you.
Compliance with the Code will be taken into account in considering
information which raises a question about your conduct, practice or
The Principles Explained
Each core principle is supported by a series of outcomes. You
must adhere to the principles and meet the outcomes.
Where IPS provides guidance to the Code of
Conduct, this is not exhaustive but is intended to help you to
understand our expectations of you. Compliance with any guidance
may not be an absolute requirement but you may be called upon to
justify a departure from it if your behaviour is called into
In the Code: You and your means a
CILEx member, CILEx practitioner or CILEx Authorised Entity.
1. Uphold the rule of law and
the impartial administration of justice.
1.1 Understand and comply with your primary and overriding duty to
the court, obey court orders and do nothing which would place you
1.2 Not knowingly or recklessly allow the court to
2. Maintain high standards of professional
and personal conduct and justify public trust in you, your
profession and the provision of legal services.
2.1 Advise your client of your professional status and that you are
authorised to practise and/or regulated by IPS. Where your practice
is regulated by IPS your business communications must confirm
2.2 Not engage in any conduct that could undermine or affect
adversely the confidence and trust placed in you and your
profession by your client, your employer, professional colleagues,
the public and others.
3. Behave with honesty and
3.1 Be honest in all your dealings and in all financial
3.2 Not intentionally mislead anyone you deal with.
3.3 Report to IPS without delay any suspicion that another has
breached the Code unless bound by legal professional privilege or
3.4 Report to the relevant authority any misconduct of another
which falls to be regulated by that authority unless bound by legal
professional privilege or client confidentiality.
3.5 Not hold yourself out as having a qualification or professional
status that you do not possess.
4. Comply with your legal and regulatory
obligations and deal with regulators and ombudsmen openly, promptly
4.1 Understand and comply with the law and regulation applicable to
4.2 Take all practicable steps to ensure you can demonstrate that
you have adhered to the Core Principles and met the associated
4.3 Not place others in breach of any regulatory requirement or
rule of professional conduct.
4.4 Respond openly, promptly and co-operatively to communications
from your regulators and ombudsmen.
5. Act competently in the best interests of
your client and respect client confidentiality.
5.1 Maintain a high level of competence in your legal work and
ensure that your legal knowledge is current and of sufficient depth
for your role.
5.2 Identify and address any deficiencies in your knowledge or
training, or that of your staff, so as to maintain a level of
competence and knowledge appropriate to the work and level of
responsibility in which you or your staff are engaged.
5.3 Act only on matters that are within your competence.
5.4 Not act for a client in an area of law where you have
insufficient knowledge or experience.
5.5 Act on your client’s instructions except when to do so would
involve a breach of the law or this Code.
5.6 Not act in a matter where you do not have the right or are not
authorised to act.
5.7 Adequately explain and agree with your client the terms upon
which your services are to be provided, including the extent of the
services, payment and the likely or anticipated cost, outcome and
timescale for the advice and services to be provided.
5.8 Provide prompt, clear and accurate information and advice to
your client, advise them openly and honestly and keep them up to
date with information they need about the work you are performing
for them within agreed timescales.
5.9 Inform your client fully as to your complaints procedure
including their right to refer a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman
or IPS where appropriate.
5.10 Not charge a client for the cost of handling a
5.11 Where your practice is regulated by IPS, include in the terms
of business with your client, a statement that IPS is your
regulator and may seek access to their papers and that, in these
circumstances, you will grant IPS access unless the client
5.12 Maintain confidentiality in respect of your client’s affairs
except where to do so would conflict with the law or the Code or
where your client explicitly authorises you to disclose
6. Treat everyone fairly and
6 Treat everyone fairly and without prejudice.
6.1 Ensure your business or your role within it, your business
model, processes and practices adequately:
o assist consumers and clients to
access justice and the full range of legal services; and
o provide each client with equal
opportunity to secure a favourable outcome in their matter,
irrespective of their vulnerability or
7. Ensure your independence
is not compromised.
7.1 Not act or continue to act where there is a conflict of
interest or a significant risk that a conflict may arise.
7.2 Not act or continue to act for a client if you reasonably
consider that they are providing instructions under duress or undue
influence, except where to withdraw from acting would be
detrimental to the client’s interests.
7.3 Where instructions are provided by a third party, confirm them
with your client to ensure they are your client’s own
7.4 Ensure that none of your commercial interests or financial
arrangements adversely affect the independence of your advice or
your ability to act impartially.
8. Act effectively
and in accordance with proper governance and sound financial and
risk management principles.
8.1 Maintain proper standards of work and keep accurate records. In
matters such as communications with clients, professional
colleagues and others, your records should be contemporaneous and
in any event must be made as soon as practicable thereafter.
8.2 Ensure that you properly supervise tasks that you have asked
others to perform on your behalf, recognising that you remain
accountable for any such work.
8.3 Ensure that anyone you ask to perform work on your behalf is
appropriately qualified and authorised to perform it.
8.4 Ensure that clients’ matters are supervised and regularly
checked by those with sufficient competence and experience to
assess the quality of the work and to ensure issues identified are
8.5 Adhere to effective management, oversight and reporting
8.6 Comply with effective procedures to ensure compliance with your
legal and regulatory obligations.
9. Protect client money and
9.1 Identify, assess, manage and promptly address risks to money
and assets entrusted to you by clients and others.
9.2 Effectively monitor the financial stability of your business or
your role within it, so as to protect client money and assets from
risks associated with the financial position of your business or
the business of your employer.
Further Help &
If you are unsure how this Code applies to you, contact IPS on 01234 845770 or firstname.lastname@example.org