CILEx welcomes LSB research

CILEx welcomes call to remove unnecessary barriers that prevent meeting consumer needs

22 May 2013

The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) has welcomed some of the recommendations highlighted by the ‘In need of advice?’ report published today by the Legal Services Board (LSB), including the call to remove barriers that prevent innovation in meeting the needs of small businesses.

Earlier this year CILEx and its regulatory body ILEX Professional Standards (IPS) submitted applications to the LSB to increase the independent practice rights of vocationally trained lawyers so they can compete on an equal footing with solicitors and other lawyers.

CILEx President Nick Hanning said: “CILEx members are ideally placed and well trained to meet the needs of small businesses, but are limited in the services they can currently provide. If the LSB and Ministry of Justice approve our applications, our members will be able to establish their own firms to work closely with SMEs to address their issues. Whilst there are many good firms providing excellent services to small businesses, this report has raised legitimate concerns about current service provision, and should emphasise the need to remove barriers to competition in the legal services sector.

“Businesses can also solve many of their day-to-day legal needs by recruiting Chartered Legal Executives as ‘in-house’ advisers. Many of our members work as in-house lawyers, and are able to apply the legal skills they’ve gained from practical experience directly to the unique issues that companies face.”

Nearly a thousand CILEx members work in ‘Non-legal companies’, and just over 1,400 work for Local Authorities or Government bodies in various capacities including as part of in-house legal teams.

Ian Watson, CEO of IPS added: “Our practice rights applications offer an efficient and cost-effective regulatory regime for specialist lawyers. Under it they will be able to provide targeted advice to SMEs whilst maintaining quality assurance and client protection standards.”