What are practice rights?
Some legal work can only be undertaken by, or under the supervision of, an authorised person. These are known as reserved activities. They are defined in the Legal Services Act 2007.
The regulator of CILEX members, CILEX Regulation is now able to authorise individuals to undertake reserved activities, provided they can demonstrate their competence to do so. This enables you to qualify as an authorised person with the right to conduct one or more reserved activities.
What rights can I apply for?
Any person, who can demonstrate competence can apply to CILEX Regulation to become authorised for the reserved activities of:
By virtue of qualifying as a Chartered Legal Executive one can automatically conduct the reserved activity of Administering Oaths. One can also complete a qualification process to gain rights of audience. Details of that scheme appear here.
Chartered Legal Executives are also eligible to apply to CILEX Regulation for practice rights in the following reserved/regulated activities:
- Criminal Litigation and Advocacy
- Family Litigation and Advocacy
- Civil Litigation and Advocacy
- Immigration advice and services
- Exercise rights of audience; and
- Conduct litigation in criminal proceedings.
Who can apply?
You must be a Chartered Legal Executive (a Fellow of CILEX) to apply for litigation, advocacy and immigration rights.
Any person, including those in any grade of CILEX membership can apply for conveyancing and probate rights. You do not have to be a member of CILEX to be awarded these practice rights, though you would be eligible for CILEX membership.
With litigation, advocacy and immigration rights although you can start the application process before you become a Chartered Legal Executive, you cannot be authorised until you have been admitted as a Fellow of CILEX and demonstrated your competence in your chosen practice area. Guidance on becoming a Chartered Legal Executive can be found here.
THE APPLICATION PROCESS
What should I do first?
Before you start to complete the application form, you should read the relevant handbook:
- Litigation Rights:
Criminal Litigation and Advocacy
Family Litigation and Advocacy
Civil Litigation and Advocacy
- Immigration Handbook
- Probate Handbook
- Conveyancing Handbook
These handbooks take you through the application process step by step and include detailed guidance on using the competence frameworks and completing your logbook and portfolios.
How do I apply?
There is an application form that you must complete for each of the practice rights you seek.
The application process has been designed to enable you to demonstrate your competence in the area of practice in which you seek practice rights.
In addition, if you will want to work in an CILEX Regulation regulated legal practice you must demonstrate minimum competence in practice management and accounts (we have called this Level 1). The application form covers this also.
Competence in both specialist areas of practice and in practice management and accounts is defined in competence frameworks, which can be found in the scheme handbooks at the links below. These frameworks set out the knowledge, understanding, skills and experience that CILEX Regulation has determined demonstrates the minimum competence needed to work gain these practice rights.
You can demonstrate your competence in the area of practice in which you seek rights either by completing qualifications and courses or through portfolios which demonstrate your knowledge, understanding, skills and experience, as set out in the relevant competence frameworks.
To make an application for authorisation for your selected practice right, you should complete the application form, which can be found here.
The fee for an application is £450.