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CILEx continues expansion in the legal services market

Parliamentary approval granted for conveyancing and probate practitioners

24 October 2014

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Parliamentary approval granted for conveyancing and probate practitioners

Parliament has given its approval 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 without the supervision of solicitors.

The order was approved on 23 October in the House of Lords, having already cleared the Commons in September. The new system will go live on 3 November.

Lord Ashton, who forwarded the order, said these proposals 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."

Applications for these new practice rights are not restricted to CILEx members. Anyone who can demonstrate they are competent to practise in conveyancing or probate through proving knowledge, skills and experience are free to apply. 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, commented: "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."

Kershaw continued: "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."

In keeping with its focus on specialist lawyers, IPS will authorise members who can prove knowledge, through qualifications at Level 6 (honours degree) or equivalent, or through submitting five portfolios that demonstrate equivalent knowledge, including legal research, client care skills and experience in conveyancing or probate practice.

To prove the skills element, applicant must submit log books that evidence each required outcome. While experience will be externally assessed through portfolios detailing cases the applicant has worked on within the last two years.

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.


Categorised in:

Wills, Trusts & Probate