Sir Robert Buckland made honorary CILEX Companion

Sir Robert Buckland made honorary CILEX Companion as 250 members celebrate graduation

18 October 2022

Sir Robert Buckland MP has been made an Honorary CILEX Companion, in recognition of his support for CILEX (Chartered Institute of Legal Executives) over the years. Speaking to some 250 graduates at the annual graduation ceremony held on Saturday, he congratulated attendees for their achievements and CILEX for its contribution to modernising the legal profession by “injecting fresh perspectives, outlooks and approaches”.

At the event, held at Central Hall Westminster in London, 850 members and guests gathered to celebrate graduation. This included 100 new CILEX Fellows, CILEX Lawyers, Advocates and Practitioners and a further 150 members who were recognised for becoming Advanced Paralegals, the step before becoming a CILEX Fellow.

They were joined by Sir Robert, CILEX President Matthew Huggett, CEO Linda Ford and chair of the CILEX Foundation, HHJ Marc Dight CBE.

CILEX’s Honorary Companion status is awarded to those who have publicly supported the work of CILEX and who share its values and mission to ensure the legal profession is diverse, progressive and can adapt to the changing needs of consumers. Sir Robert, who is currently Secretary of State for Wales, is a former defence barrister and part-time judge. He is a Kings Counsel and has served the government as Solicitor General, prisons minister and Lord Chancellor. In his time as Lord Chancellor he recognised the important role CILEX Lawyers have to play in the justice system and judiciary, and committed to working with CILEX on the legal barriers its practitioners face.

Speaking at the event he told the audience: “You will know, having worked as hard as you have to earn your place at today’s ceremony, how much grit, resilience and stomach are required to practice law. I have had the immense privilege of working alongside some formidable characters during my time in law – people from all walks of life – and I know that our profession is all the better for opening up, for tearing down obstacles for those with the stomach for the fight, for diversifying and helping people up and in. Law is fundamentally about people, so it is plain common sense that a mixture of perspectives and experience will better equip us to do our jobs.”

President, Matthew Huggett recognised the achievements of graduates, so many of whom qualified while studying alongside full-time work. He said: “It is challenging and admirable to study to become a lawyer whilst working. It requires a level of determination that many people do not possess. It requires resilience to achieve what you are here today to celebrate, making us who we are and equipping us for the challenges that both our personal and professional life will no doubt present us with in the future.” 

He reflected on the make up of the CILEX membership who come from a wide range of backgrounds and have a diverse range of life experiences, telling the audience: “Our ability to relate to clients, talk to them in straightforward way, to reflect their needs and their situation and their background is so important. In fact, it is fundamental to providing your client with a good outcome. It makes you a better adviser – a better lawyer. This in turn should make you more valued by your employer and in the long run, will make you more successful.” 

Last year CILEX launched the CILEX Professional Qualification (CPQ), a new qualification that recognises that a successful career in the law requires more than just legal knowledge. The CPQ was designed to produce uniquely qualified, specialist lawyers with the skills to meet the changing demands of the modern legal market. It builds on CILEX’s core propositions of accessibility, affordability and flexibility, offering both graduates and those who did not attend university the opportunity to practise law at the highest level.


For further information, please contact: 

Louise Eckersley, Black Letter Communications on 0203 567 1208 or email [email protected]

Kerry Jack, Black Letter Communications on 07525 756 599 or email [email protected] 

Notes to editors:

CILEX Fellows have completed the academic stage of training, have been in qualifying employment for at least three years and have met the relevant work based learning outcomes. They are authorised by CILEx Regulation.

CILEX Lawyers are CILEX Fellows with practice rights who can practise independently with equivalence to a solicitor or other fully authorised person, in their area of practice specialism.

CILEX Advocates are Fellows who have gained extended rights of audience in their practice area, allowing them to undertake advocacy in certain proceedings.

CILEX Practitioners CILEX Practitioners are specialists in specific areas of law. They are authorised by CILEx Regulation to practice without supervision in one, or more, areas of law.

CILEX Advanced Paralegals have completed both their CILEX Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice and their CILEX Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law and Practice, or equivalent studies.


CILEX (The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives) is one of the three main professional bodies covering the legal profession in England and Wales. The approximately 20,000-strong membership is made up of CILEX Lawyers, Chartered Legal Executives, paralegals and other legal professionals.

CILEX pioneered the non-university route into law and in 2021 launched the CILEX Professional Qualification (CPQ), a new approach to on-the-job training that marries legal knowledge with the practical skills, behaviours and commercial awareness needed by lawyers in the 2020s.

The CPQ is a progressive qualification that creates a workforce of specialist legal professionals, that can ultimately qualify as a CILEX Lawyer. CILEX Lawyers can become partners in law firms, coroners, judges or advocates in open court.

CILEX members come from more diverse backgrounds than other parts of the legal profession: 
  • 76% of its lawyers are women 
  • 16% are from ethnic minority backgrounds
  • 84% attended state schools 
  • 31% are the first generation in their family to attend university 
  • Only 3% of its members have a parent who is a lawyer.
CILEX members are regulated through an independent body, CILEx Regulation. It is the only regulator covering paralegals.