Philip Sherwood is new CILEx President as governance reforms come into force

Philip Sherwood is new CILEx President as governance reforms come into force

20 July 2018

Philip Sherwood has taken over as President of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) under its new structure.

As such, he chairs the board of CILEx Professional, one of the boards that form part of the CILEx governance structure under a new Group board.

CILEx Professional is dedicated to promoting the profession’s interests. The other group companies are CILEx Law School, delivering legal education, and Group Services, providing business infrastructure to all parts of the group. CILEx Regulation will continue to have its own independent board.

The CILEx Professional board is smaller than its predecessor council – it has 11 members, compared to 23 before – and Mr Sherwood explains that all of them had to go through a rigorous application process to show they were the right people for the job.

“The new structure has to be fit for purpose – we want the right people in the right places, leading the organisation and making the strategic decisions. I believe that this is what we now have,” he says. 

Mr Sherwood spent much of his career in personal injury work and is now an independent costs consultant on the south coast. He is also a consultant at Citadel Law, the specialist consulting law firm.

The Group board is at the apex of the governance structure, which separates out CILEx’s duties to the public interest, the profession and independent regulation.

With its independent chair, Professor Chris Bones, the Group board has an overarching duty to the public interest. It is charged also with protecting CILEx’s Royal Charter and its reputation.

Professor Bones says: “Since my appointment in January, we have all been working hard to ensure a seamless transition to the new governance regime, which reflects the multi-faceted nature of the organisation.

“I believe that with the support of a ‘fit-for-purpose’ Institute, CILEx members have every opportunity to make the best of a legal market more receptive than ever to their skills and experience.”

CILEx is currently reviewing its qualifications, training and membership grades to ensure they meet the needs of a legal market where training requirements are changing and apprenticeships are beginning to take hold. 

Mr Sherwood says: “I’d like to see our members gain rights of audience on qualification – that’s one thing that holds our members back at the moment. They qualify, gain the title of Chartered Legal Executive and there’s a further process they have to go through to get rights of audience.

“But we have achieved so much. It is fitting that just this week we received the Lord Chancellor’s approval for CILEx Regulation to license alternative business structures, as everything is now in place for CILEx and its members to stride confidently into a future that holds many exciting possibilities for us all.”