18 July 2019
Matthew Foster becomes new CILEx President
Matthew Foster takes over as President of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) today with a call for equality of opportunity within the legal profession.
The 56th CILEx president, he takes over from personal injury specialist Phil Sherwood and will chair the board of CILEx Professional, which is primarily focused on promoting the profession’s interests. He has ambitious plans for the next 12 months and is determined to see the organisation make its public voice louder still.
“I want to see us lobbying even more vociferously for changes to out-of-date laws that fail to give our members equality of opportunity within the legal profession. Whether it’s the ability to apply for higher judicial posts, international recognition under the EU Lawyer Recognition Directive, or the ability to sign or certify certain legal documents, I want to carry on the great work that has been undertaken under Phil’s presidency and push for change,” he says.
Matthew has spent his legal career working in local government, first in public law, advising mainly on social care cases, and more recently in data protection, which he advises on in his current role at Wrexham County Borough Council.
His experiences working for local authorities have given him an insight into the big issues affecting the justice system.
He says: “It is clear that years of austerity and underfunding have led to vulnerable people not getting access to justice, with individuals forced to represent themselves. I have seen those made homeless or faced with other housing-related problems, unable to access the legal advice they need, and a rise in unrepresented parties become an added burden on the courts service. This is a major concern for CILEx and an area where we continue to campaign and lobby the government.”
CILEx recently undertook a detailed review of its qualifications and Matthew will be working with the CILEx Executive to ensure members and other stakeholder views are reflected in the development of new qualification pathways.
“Encouraging more people into the profession and developing a clearer, simpler, more integrated route to qualification as a CILEx lawyer are other key priorities,” explains Matthew.
“As someone who left school at 16, CILEx has been a constant throughout my career. Without the education and support I have had from CILEx, I would have never been able to become a lawyer. I want to encourage others interested in a career in law, to consider the CILEx route.”
For further information, please contact:
Kerry Jack, Black Letter Communications on 07525 756 599 or email:
Louise Eckersley, Black Letter Communications on 0203 567 1208 or email:
Notes to editors:
The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) is one of the three main professional bodies covering the legal profession in England and Wales. The 20,000-strong membership is made up of Chartered Legal Executives, paralegals and other legal professionals.
CILEx members are regulated through an independent body, CILEx Regulation. It is the only regulator covering paralegals.
CILEx provides career support and training, with qualifications open to those holding GCSEs, A levels or a degree. Over 100,000 students have chosen CILEx over the last 25 years, with the majority studying whilst in full or part-time employment.
CILEx offers the opportunity of a non-graduate route to qualification as a lawyer, although graduates are also welcomed and the Graduate Fast-track Diploma offers a more affordable and viable alternative to the LPC.
Those who complete the full CILEx qualification are known as Chartered Legal Executives. They can become partners in law firms, coroners, judges or advocates in open court.
CILEx is committed to supporting members to deliver accessible legal services to the public.
The membership is diverse – 75% of members are women and 11% are from a BAME background.