ILEX Professional Standards

Legal Executives Regulatory Body Begins Work

ILEX Professional Standards Limited (IPS), the regulatory arm of the Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX) begins its new role with effect from the beginning of October.

This marks a key formal stage in the separation of the regulation and leadership functions of ILEX. In this way ILEX will comply with its responsibilities as an approved regulator under the Legal Services Act 2007.

IPS will regulate all 24,000 students, members and Fellows of the Institute in England and Wales. The aim of the new body is to give the public full confidence in the role of legal executives within the legal profession: to serve the public interest and protect consumers of legal services.

It will also provide authoritative guidance and rules of conduct, to help legal executives to meet the standards expected of them. The new body will, where necessary, investigate concerns about legal executives’ standards of practice and their compliance with the rules, taking action if an individual’s fitness to practice is in doubt.

A new Board of Directors has been appointed to direct and oversee the work of the new body. The Board appointments will run for an initial period of three years.

The ILEX Professional Standards Board

  • Alan Kershaw Chair
  • Sandra Barton
  • Thelma Brown
  • Hilary Daniels
  • Faizal Essat
  • Andrew Middleton
  • Nicholas Smedley

“ILEX takes its regulatory responsibilities extremely seriously,” said ILEX President Mark Bishop, “and has a well deserved reputation for good regulation. We believe it is unthinkable for anyone to undertake legal work for individuals and businesses without not only the relevant education, training and qualification but also firm regulation.

“The separation of the regulatory aspects from ILEX to IPS will not only maintain this good reputation, but will enable Legal Executives to play an increasingly effective role in the delivery of excellent legal services to consumers. This change comes at key time for our members. As new legislation takes effect and as our roles in the legal profession expand, we face new and more complex areas of regulation. The independence of IPS will give the public confidence that Legal Executives are rigorously and properly regulated.

” ILEX Professional Standards Chairman Alan Kershaw said, “This is a time of tremendous opportunity for Legal Executives and for their professional body. The public recognise the growing part Legal Executives are playing in the delivery of high quality legal services.“Effective, transparently independent professional regulation can only enhance this and a strategically focused Board, which will catch a vision for the profession’s future, will benefit both Legal Executives and the public.”

Biographical notes for new ILEX Professional Standards Board

  • Alan Kershaw – Alan was appointed in June as the first Chair of the Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX) regulatory body to be known as ILEX Professional Standards Limited. Alan is a specialist in professional regulation and brings with him a long record of achievement. Alan was the first Chief Executive of the Council for the Registration of Forensic Practitioners from 1999 to 2007. Prior to that, he had spent 16 years working for the General Medical Council, his final 3 years as Director of Education and Standards. He also holds Board appointments on a number of other professional standards setting bodies.
  • Sandra Barton – Sandra is a Legal Executive member of the Board. She is the legal services manager for a property service company. Sandra was until recently a member of ILEX Council and served as President in 2004/5. She will bring a good knowledge of the Legal Services Act to the Board, including its implications for ILEX and members; and has also served on the ILEX investigating and disciplinary bodies.
  • Thelma Brown – Thelma is a Legal Executive member of the Board. She has qualified as a solicitor but retains her Fellowship. She works as the Bench Manager for the East Yorkshire Magistrates’ Courts where, in addition to providing legal advice, training and pastoral care to Magistrates, she is involved with a wide range of family and criminal justice stakeholder bodies and committees.
  • Hilary Daniels Hilary is a Chartered Public Finance Accountant and is a Past President of CIPFA. She was Chief Executive of West Norfolk Primary Care Trust, from its inception in 2000 until its abolition in 2006. She is a member of the Professional Oversight Board, which oversees and regulates the accountancy and actuarial professions and is an Independent Member on the East Northamptonshire Standards Board.
  • Faizal Essat – Faizal is a Legal Executive member of the Board. He is a Fellow specialising in Personal Injury Litigation and Commercial Dispute Resolution at Andersons Solicitors in Nottingham. He is an ILEX Advocate. He has extensive experience working with faith and community groups in Leicester and has served on the ILEX branches in Leicester and Nottingham.
  • Andrew Middleton – Andrew is an independent member of the Board He has had a 36-year career in further education, culminating with 18 years as Principal and Chief Executive of Stamford College in Lincolnshire. Since leaving his full-time post, Andrew has developed a portfolio of complementary part-time roles, mainly in the health and education sectors, all with a quality-improvement theme.
  • Nicholas Smedley – Nicholas is an independent member of the Board. He is currently a consultant whose clients include central government departments, the Law Society, The Bar and the Prince of Wales’ Charities. He was a senior official of the Ministry of Justice until May 2008 and served as Director of Research at the Prince’s Charities.

posted 08.10.08