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CILEX gains broad support for legal reforms

CILEX gains broad support for legal reforms


CILEX's proposed changes receive widespread approval, enhancing trust and transparency in legal professionals

The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEX) has garnered significant backing for its reform agenda from professionals, employers, and consumers. The proposed changes to CILEX’s governance, membership structure, and regulatory delegation aim to improve public understanding and trust in legal professionals.

The Enhancing Consumer Trust and Confidence consultation, conducted between August and November, involved over 1,200 respondents, including employers, consumers, CILEX members, and various legal professionals. CILEX, as an approved regulator under the Legal Services Act 2007, published a report of the consultation, expressing commitment to reforms with some modifications based on feedback.

Key Findings:

  • Specialist Titles: 67% of CILEX members support new Chartered Lawyer titles, ensuring parity with solicitors in practice areas.

  • Consumer Clarity: Consumers, unfamiliar with the title of Chartered Legal Executive, support the introduction of specialist Chartered Lawyer titles.

  • Delegation to SRA: Over 60% positive response to proposals delegating regulation to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

  • Uniform Regulation: Consumers express concern over separate regulations for solicitors and CILEX Lawyers, supporting uniform protection and consistency.

  • Employer Confidence: 82% of employers back re-delegation to the SRA, seeing it as crucial for maintaining consumer confidence.

  • Paralegal Framework: Universal support for a new paralegal standards framework and career ladder.

  • Professional Representation: 82% support extending voting rights and representation on the CILEX Professional Board.

  • Revised Titles: CILEX revises proposed titles, including ‘CILEX Chartered Lawyer,’ with specialist titles for those in reserved work.

Linda Ford of CILEX is “Encouraged by engagement from members and stakeholders, ensuring changes benefit consumers and legal professionals.”

CILEX is now seeking additional assurances from the SRA regarding the proposed delegation, considering issues like the regulation of CILEX Paralegals, independence from the Law Society, cost considerations, and maintaining distinct identities and routes into the law.

Linda Ford highlights the importance of these reforms in driving positive change for both consumers and legal service providers. CILEX aims to provide additional assurances and details before finalizing proposals and submitting a formal application to the Privy Council.

Next steps will be announced after the SRA Board meeting on January 23, where outcomes of its own consultation will be considered.