Legal eagles swoop on Europe

Legal eagles swoop on Europe

12 December 2014

Richard Howitt MEP with CILEx ApprenticesBedfordshire Euro MP Richard Howitt has taken up the fight for the Kempston-based Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) for professional recognition to enable members to represent clients across Europe.

The Labour MEP was invited to CILEx headquarters in Kempston to hear the case for recognition as qualified lawyers by the European Union from the top officials of the national organisation for Chartered Legal Executives.

Richard Howitt MEP also met a number of apprentices who currently work for CILEx, whilst studying at Bedford College.

As well as employing apprentices, CILEx is also the awarding body for Legal Services Apprenticeships; students studying the apprenticeships will profit from European recognition for their professional status in years to come as there are now more than 300 legal services apprentices working at law firms or in-house legal departments across England and Wales.

Richard Howitt MEP, who is spokesperson for Labour on human rights in the European Parliament, said: “The professional status of solicitors and barristers in England, and advocates in Scotland is recognised by the European Union and now I believe so should that of Chartered Legal Executives.

“Legal apprentices can look forward to a rewarding career once qualified, with the work of Chartered Legal Executives here in the UK in many areas of practice now recognised as indistinguishable from solicitors.

“I will do all I can to ensure that the professional body for Chartered Legal Executives which is based in Kempston in my constituency succeed in their fight for European recognition as qualified lawyers.”

Diane Burleigh OBE, chief executive of CILEx said: “Chartered Legal Executives, just like other UK lawyers, should be able to compete on a level playing field with lawyers across Europe. International business in legal services underpins jobs here in Bedfordshire and across the UK, and maintaining our global competitiveness is necessary to ensuring this field grows. CILEx members are specialists who have much to offer on the international stage, and our local MEP recognises this. I am grateful for his support.”


View the photographs from the visit here.