First for Portsmouth legal duo

First For Portsmouth Legal Executive Lawyers

27 May 2008 pr019.08

Football is not the only thing that Portsmouth excels in! Two Portsmouth Legal Executive lawyers have become the first in Hampshire to qualify as Legal Executive Advocates, gaining the right to represent their clients in open court.

Rebecca Strong and Kristy Richardson, both from the Portsmouth law firm, Biscoes, sponsors of FA Cup winners Portsmouth United, are among the first Legal Executive lawyers in the country to qualify as Legal Executive Advocates under a new training scheme introduced by the Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX).

Rebecca has gained Advocacy Rights in Criminal Law and Kristy Advocacy Rights in Family Law.

As a Legal Executive Advocate in Criminal Law, Rebecca will now be able to offer a seamless service to clients, taking clients cases from initial instruction through to magistrates court and, in the case of appeals and bail applications, to the Crown Court, something ILEX Fellows have not been able to do in the past.

Similarly, Kristy as a Legal Executive Advocate in Family Law can take cases from initial instruction through to Family Proceedings Courts and in open County Courts. This may also include dealing with committal proceedings where a party could be sentenced to a term of imprisonment,again something ILEX Fellows have been unable to do in the past.

“I am really pleased to have been one of the first ten in the country to have gained this qualification,” said Rebecca. “And I am already on my feet in the Magistrates Court! The course was tougher than I anticipated, but the course tutor was brilliant and gave me the knowledge and confidence required for the assessment and also my future as an advocate.”

And Kristy commented: “I am extremely pleased to have gained this qualification. The course was extremely challenging, but well worth the effort. It means that I can now offer a full service to all my clients, which I know will be appreciated, particularly during extremely difficult and stressful times. This qualification opens the field for Legal Executives to represent their clients in the full range of hearings and I would like to thank everyone that has helped me to achieve this.”

ILEX President, Lesley Graham congratulated both Rebecca and Kristy on their success.

“The expertise and knowledge of Legal Executives has long been recognised,” she said. “And Rights of Audience is the first of many forthcoming important changes within the legal profession that affect ILEX members and will enable them to broaden their areas of practice and status.”