First ILEX Advocate Prosecutor

First Prosecuting Legal Executive Advocate for Brighton

9 June 2008 pr011.08

Leonard Batten, a Legal Executive lawyer working with Brighton & Hove City Council has become the first Legal Executive in England & Wales to be trained as a prosecuting Legal Executive Advocate under a scheme announced in October last year, and is already appearing in court on behalf of the Council..

Seven Fellows of the Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX) qualified in criminal proceedings. Leonard as a prosecuting advocate, the other six as defence advocates. A further group of Fellows will shortly complete the first Family Law course.

As Legal Executive Advocate, Leonard will be able to offer a seamless service, taking a case right through to the magistrates court and, in the case of appeal and bail applications, the Crown Court without the need to instruct a solicitor, something both he and other ILEX Fellows have not been able to do in the past.

Len found the course challenging and enlightening. “As a person who has concentrated on prosecution work having to think as a defence lawyer was a complete change of mindset,” he said.” I also enjoyed the course and learnt a lot from my fellow candidates from their experiences. I am also very grateful to the Institute for all of their efforts to achieve this qualification for all Fellows.”

“I am delighted that Leonard is of the first Legal Executive Advocates to complete the training course and already honing his skills in court,” said ILEX President, Lesley Graham. “And I am sure he will be the first of many.”

“Extended Advocacy rights are something which ILEX has campaigned long and hard for. The expertise and knowledge of Legal Executives has long been recognised 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.”

Prior to enrolling onto a course, Fellows and Members have to apply to ILEX for a Certificate of Eligibility which requires them to show they have the necessary level of legal knowledge and experience before undertaking the intensive six-day course. Over 400 ILEX Fellows have already expressed an interest in obtaining rights of audience and in training to become advocates.