Practice Rights

CILEx submits application to LSB for independent Practice Rights

25 March 2013

The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) and its independent regulator ILEX Professional Standards (IPS) have today submitted applications to the Legal Services Board (LSB) to enable the granting of independent practice rights to Chartered Legal Executives. If approved, CILEx will be able to authorise suitably qualified practitioners and businesses to provide legal services in Probate, Conveyancing, Litigation, Advocacy and Immigration work.

The new applications build on CILEx’s long experience in regulating Chartered Legal Executives and other legal professionals. CILEx is already an approved regulator granting Litigation and Advocacy Rights to members who are in employment, and a qualifying regulator for granting immigration practice rights.

Looking forward to a successful outcome for the applications, IPS Chair Alan Kershaw said: “During the past year, the CILEx President and I have had many discussions about these applications with Judges, politicians, legislators and other stakeholders and opinion formers. Throughout it was clear that Chartered Legal Executives are held in high regard. They are up to the challenge of independent practice, and there was a degree of incredulity that CILEx members have been denied these rights for so long.

“This is an idea whose time has come. The challenge for IPS is to demonstrate to the LSB and the statutory consultees, and later to the Lord Chancellor and Parliament, not only that CILEx members are up to the job but that we have the capacity and capability to regulate them and the businesses they set up in a way which meets the statutory objectives and professional principles set out in the Act.”

The applications set out in detail the qualification and practice standards individuals must meet to become authorised practitioners. Those who do so will be able to exercise rights in relation to the legal specialties in which they prove their competence. IPS has also developed a detailed framework for authorisation of legal services businesses. Regulation will be outcomes-focussed, risk-based and will include a full range of consumer protection provisions. The aim is to allow authorised entities the flexibility to deliver the services that consumers want in the way they want to receive them.

The applications build on IPS’ current consumer engagement work so that IPS maintains and develops its understanding of the markets in which CILEx regulated practices will be operating.

Welcoming the submission of the applications, CILEx President Nick Hanning said “We have supported our IPS colleagues in developing robust qualification and regulatory arrangements for the full range of practice rights. A huge amount of work has gone into the applications. I have every confidence it will provide a solid basis for CILEx members and others regulated by CILEx to exercise rights in relation to reserved activities in their own right, to manage their own firms or businesses offering legal services, or to lead legal departments, no longer held back by the lack of practice rights. CILEx is all about opportunity. Its open access approach to qualifications and membership brings an unrivalled measure of diversity to the legal services sector. What better vehicle for equality is there than to allow anyone capable of it to run their own business?”