First London L E Advocate

First London Legal Executive Advocate

21 May 2008 pro11/04. 08

Monika Killeen, from Harrow, a Legal Executive lawyer with the Charing Cross law firm, Reynolds Dawson, is one of the first Legal Executives in England & Wales to be trained as a defence Legal Executive Advocate under a scheme announced in October last year, and is now preparing to make her first appearance in court.

Monika is one of seven Fellows of the Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX) to qualify in criminal proceedings, six as defence advocates and one as a prosecution advocate. A further group of Fellows will shortly complete the first Family Law course.

As Legal Executive Advocates they will be able to offer a seamless service to clients taking their 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 ILEX Fellows have not been able to do in the past.

In October 2007,Altior Training, based in Cardiff, became the first ILEX accredited organisation to deliver training courses and assessments to members enrolled under the revised ILEX Advocacy Qualification Scheme. Over 400 ILEX Fellows and Members have already expressed an interest in obtaining rights of audience and in the training to become advocates.

“I am very proud to be pioneering the way for this new wave of Advocates,” says Monika. “The process of becoming a Legal Executive Advocate was challenging and rigorous.

“It was clearly designed to ensure that those of us who would become the public face of our qualification, would not let it down. I am confident that we can continue to raise the profile of Legal Executives and to positively influence our perception by the profession.”

“I am delighted that Monika is one of the first Legal Executive Advocates to complete the training course and is now ready to hone her skills in court,” said ILEX President, Lesley Graham, ”And I am sure she 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 that they have the necessary level of legal knowledge and experience before they can undertake the six-day course.