New 'recognised paralegal body' to be unveiled
Professional Paralegal Register mobilises troops for first ever conference
A fourth 'recognised body' for paralegals is to be revealed tomorrow by the Professional Paralegal Register (PPR).
The PPR, a voluntary register for regulating paralegals who work in the unregulated sector in England and Wales, has established more than 2,000 paralegals on its register since launching in July 2015.
Amanda Hamilton, PPR director and CEO chief executive of the National Association of Licensed Paralegals, said: 'Currently, there are three recognised bodies under the PPR: the Institute of Paralegals, the National Association of Paralegals, and the Institute of Professional Will Writers.
'We are very excited that a fourth new recognised body is due to be announced at the conference on 21 April at Wyboston Lakes.'
It is estimated that there are 200,000 paralegals working in the unregulated sector in England and Wales.
Now, directors of the not-for-profit organisation have launched the first paralegal conference in England and Wales, entitled: Paralegals: The Fourth Arm of the Legal Profession.
Around 150 delegates are expected to attend the event with a line-up of prestigious speakers from the legal sector, including Steve Green, chair of the Office of Legal Complaints, and Becky Huxley-Binns, vice provost at the University of Law.
Derek Wood, CBE QC of Falcon Chambers, is chairing a panel discussion on the future of paralegals to include speakers such as Elisabeth Davies, chair of Legal Services Consumer Panel, Espe Fuentes, Head of Legal, at Which?, and Chris White, founder of Aspiring Solicitors.
David Holland, director of the PPR and chief Executive of Instructus, commented: 'The unregulated legal sector is growing at an unprecedented rate due to the consumer needing access to professionally qualified and competent legal service providers. Paralegals are those providers.'
Meanwhile, Rita Leat, managing director of the PPR said: 'This conference is a celebration of the emergence of the Fourth Arm of the Legal Profession. At last paralegals are coming together as a profession in its own right.
'Our aims are to ensure that paralegals working outside of solicitor's firms are regulated to provide the best possible protection to consumers who choose to engage them.
'For the first time, paralegals can obtain paralegal practising certificates from the PPR giving them the opportunity to be self-employed or freelance paralegals, and are no longer reliant on solicitors for work.'