New practice rights approved

CILEx to begin authorising conveyancing and probate practitioners following Parliamentary approval

Conveyancing flyer cover23 October 2014Probate flyer cover

Parliament has given the go ahead for ILEX Professional Standards (IPS), the regulator of members of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx), to begin authorising probate and conveyancing specialists to practise independently. The system will go live on 3 November.

Applications for these practice rights are not restricted to CILEx members and are open to anyone who can demonstrate they are competent to practise in conveyancing or probate through proving knowledge, skills and experience. Individuals who are granted authorisation for the new practice rights will be able to call themselves CILEx Conveyancing Practitioners, or CILEx Probate Practitioners.

Alan Kershaw, chair of IPS, said: “Many Chartered Legal Executives already carry out these types of work successfully for clients and, in their field, are as competent as a solicitor doing the same work. We are confident that many CILEx members will come forward to be authorised to practise in their own right. And on this occasion we are particularly excited that it is open to anyone to apply. Those already practising as a conveyancer, or providing probate services, can seek authorisation from us without having to be a Chartered Legal Executive. We have taken care, though, to set the bar at a level that gives full assurance of each practitioner’s competence; only those who can prove in-depth knowledge, with the full range of skills and pertinent experience, will be authorised.”

Proposing the order, Lord Ashton said these orders will “enable increased competition and innovation in the legal services market.”

He added that CILEx’s expansion in the legal services market “…will help to contribute to the growth of the legal services market, and bring further innovations leading to benefits to the consumers of legal services.”

The order was approved this afternoon in the House of Lords, having already cleared the Commons in September. Further orders are to be made later this year to establish protection arrangements for consumers that will enable IPS to begin regulating businesses as well as individual practitioners.

In keeping with its focus on specialist lawyers, IPS will authorise members who can prove knowledge, skills and experience in conveyancing or probate practice.
• Knowledge – Proved by qualifications at Level 6 (Honours degree) or equivalent, or through submitting 5 portfolios that demonstrate equivalent knowledge, including legal research and client care.
• Skills – Proved by submitting log books that evidence each required outcome.
• Experience – Externally assessed portfolios detailing cases the applicant has dealt with within the last two years.


Conveyancing Practice Rights information

Probate Practice Rights information

Applications open 3 November, further information will be published in due course.