CILEx names new CEO to drive forward reform process

CILEx names new CEO to drive forward reform process

03 May 2017

Linda Ford, CEO of CILExThe Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) has appointed Linda Ford as its new chief executive officer as it presses ahead with significant governance reforms and puts a renewed focus on speaking to and supporting members.

Ms Ford has been CILEx’s chief operating officer since she joined in 2015 from the General Optical Council, where she was head of the education and standards directorate. She has also been interim CEO for the past year.

In addition to the governance reforms announced earlier this year, Ms Ford oversaw the launch in March of the “I am ACILEx” campaign, aimed at both individuals and employers. This offers the opportunity for practitioners without a professional status to become an Associate member of the Chartered Institute.

In April she launched myCareer, the new careers portal, a unique resource among legal bodies that will provide members with professional development resources and tools like CV and cover-letter builders, interview simulators, and access to 150 online employability skills courses and a job search engine.

A further initiative on the way is a ‘Lawyer Portal’ for students considering a future in law.

Ms Ford has also led the financial turnaround of CILEx, with the organisation returning to the black in 2016 and the projections for 2017 looking more positive still.

Linda Ford says: “CILEx and its members can look to the future with positivity and optimism and safe in the knowledge that they have a great deal to offer the public, the profession and those looking for a career in the law. We want to do all we can to help our members progress their careers and make their mark.

“It is a privilege to be asked to set and lead the future direction of CILEx, and member engagement will be at the heart of what we do. This will be aided by the new governance structure, which will make clearer the role and responsibilities of the various parts of the group.”

The governance arrangements, once approved, will separate out CILEx’s duties to the public interest, the profession and independent regulation with a new corporate structure.

It will see a group board at the apex, with an independent chair, whose overarching duty will be to the public interest. It will be charged also with protecting CILEx’s Royal Charter and its reputation.

Each CILEx subsidiary company will have its own board. CILEx Professional Association, dedicated to promoting the profession’s interests and the body that will award the qualifications of Chartered Legal Executive; CILEx Law School, delivering legal education; and Group Services, providing business infrastructure to all parts of the group. CILEx Regulation will continue to have its own independent board. 

Ms Ford will lead the transition to the new structure, under which she will then be CEO of CILEx Professional.

She says: “These changes will allow CILEx Professional to concentrate on enhancement of the profession and member interests. There are so many opportunities for our members in the new legal world, and we will be supporting them every step of the way.”

CILEx President Martin Callan says: “Linda has shown us all over the past year that she will be a huge asset as CILEx’s new CEO. She has the vision, drive and ability to deliver these major reforms and then take forward CILEx Professional as the representative body of choice for those looking to make their way in the legal profession.”