First Legal Executive Fellow Judge Appointed
The first Legal Executive Fellow judge has been
announced. Ian Ashley-Smith has been appointed by the Lord
Chancellor as a Deputy District Judge on the South Eastern
Circuit. The appointment is possible as a result of the
changes brought about by the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act
2007, which made Fellows of the Institute of Legal Executives
(ILEX) eligible to apply for selected
judicial roles from November 2008.
On hearing the news, David McGrady, President of ILEX
said: “ILEX is delighted that the first Legal Executive Fellow
judge has been appointed, and we congratulate Ian on his success.
ILEX believes that judges should be appointed solely on merit and
that the judiciary can only benefit by having suitably qualified
people from a diverse background.
“We feel confident that this appointment is the first of many
for our lawyer members. Our membership is drawn from all areas of
society - 75% of Legal Executive Lawyers are women and more than
13% are of black or minority ethnicity. As such, Legal Executive
lawyers are representative of today’s society and are well placed
to help build public confidence in the judicial system.”
JAC Chairman, Baroness Usha Prashar commented: “The JAC is
delighted that the first ILEX Fellow Judge has been
appointed. The JAC works closely with ILEX, as it does
the Bar and Law Society, to ensure everyone is aware of
the judicial opportunities open to them. We welcome
applications from good candidates whatever their legal background.
We have a statutory duty to encourage diversity in the range of
candidates available for selection and to select candidates solely
Speaking of his appointment, Mr. Ashley-Smith said: “I was truly
honoured to accept my appointment as a Deputy District Judge. This
is proof positive that there is now no limit to what Legal
Executives can achieve within the legal profession.”