First Legal Executive Judge

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 on merit."

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.”

Posted 12.08.10