Professor Lord Kakkar made honorary CILEX Companion as 275 members celebrate graduation
Professor Lord Kakkar has been made an Honorary CILEX Companion, in recognition of his work as chair of the Judicial Appointment Commission and Judicial Diversity Forum (JDF).
In those roles he has championed CILEX (Chartered Institute of Legal Executives) as a valued member of the JDF and supported the extension of eligibility criteria to allow CILEX Lawyers to apply for senior judicial appointments, a change that came into force in June this year.
He accepted the award at CILEX’s annual graduation ceremony, this year held on 14 October at the QEII centre in London, where over 1000 members and guests gathered to celebrate graduation. This included 275 new CILEX Fellows, CILEX Lawyers, Advocates, Practitioners and CILEX Graduates.
CILEX’s Honorary Companion status is awarded to those who have made a significant impact by developing or championing 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.
In addition to his work with the JDF, Lord Kakkar is President of the Thrombosis Research Institute and Emeritus Professor of Surgery, University College London. He was made a life peer in 2010 and sits on the cross benches of the House of Lords.
Lord Kakkar said: “It is a real honour to receive this award from CILEX and be given the opportunity to address graduates and their families. During my time as Chair of the Judicial Diversity Forum, CILEX contributed actively towards achieving our shared vision of a more diverse judiciary, better placed to serve our citizens. In June this year, the Ministry of Justice opened up more senior judicial roles to CILEX-qualified lawyers, a reflection of the tremendous contribution this profession has to offer our judicial system.”
He addressed the graduation audience along with Juliet Harvey, the first Chartered Legal Executive to hold the post of Chair of Resolution as well as CILEX CEO Linda Ford and CILEX President Emma Davies.
Emma Davies recognised the achievements of graduates, so many of whom qualified while studying alongside full-time work. She said: “You have dedicated your time over many years to study whilst working. In addition, you might have had caring commitments and other personal responsibilities. Life might have thrown you a curve ball, perhaps on more than one occasion, but the flexibility of CILEX qualifications meant you could pause and pick back up when the time was right for you.”
She reflected on the fact that CILEX Lawyers graduating, unlike newly qualified solicitors, would have been “advising clients for years and successfully managing their own caseloads” and encouraged them to seize new opportunities and “work hard and continue to push yourself outside of your comfort zone, however scary it may feel, you can achieve more than you ever imagined”.
She reminded the audience of the importance of the new three stage CILEX Professional Qualification that launched in 2021, offering career destination points for paralegals and CILEX Lawyers and equipping them with the skills to meet the changing demands of the modern legal market.
She also reiterated the legislative and policy changes secured over the past year on behalf of CILEX members including amendments to the Judicial Appointments Order 2008 that in June opened up more senior judicial roles to CILEX Lawyers, the Powers of Attorney Act, containing changes permitting CILEX Lawyers to certify copies of Powers of Attorney and for conveyancing members, ongoing engagement with various lender panels, to enable access without barriers.