First Salisbury LE Advocate

First Salisbury Legal Executive Advocate Takes Centre Stage

15 May 2008 pr011.08

Matthew George, a Legal Executive lawyer with Salisbury law firm, Richard Griffiths & Co 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 ready to defend clients in court.

Matthew 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 ILEX Family Law advocacy course.

As Legal Executive Advocates, they will be able to offer a seamless service to clients, taking their cases 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.

Speaking on his success, Matthew said: “I am delighted to have been granted rights of audience in Criminal Proceedings. The Advocacy Skills Course run by altior was excellent and provided me with a firm foundation on which to develop my career. I look forward to the challenge.

“The quality and calibre of the other candidates on the Course was astounding and I am extremely proud to be among the first in the country to qualify as a Legal Executive Advocate in Criminal Proceedings.

“I would like to thank all of those at ILEX who have fought so long and so hard for extended rights of audience for Legal Executives, and I would encourage all Legal Executives practicing civil, family and criminal law to support ILEX and apply for extended rights of audience.”

Prior to enrolling onto a course, ILEX 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.

“I am delighted that Matthew is one of the first Legal Executive Advocates to complete the training course and is now ready to hone 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 will enable ILEX members to broaden their areas of practice and status.”