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The future of CILEX regulation hangs in the balance

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The future of CILEX regulation hangs in the balance

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The SRA Board will decide on regulating CILEX members amidst widespread opposition and resource concerns

The Board of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is set to decide this week whether to proceed with proposals to regulate both authorised and non-authorised members of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEX). This decision comes in the face of significant opposition from various stakeholders, including the Law Society of England and Wales, CILEx Regulation Limited (CRL), and CILEX members.

Ian Jeffery, CEO of the Law Society, emphasised the broad resistance to these proposals and urged the SRA Board to reconsider. He highlighted the current challenges facing the SRA, including the collapses of major firms like Axiom Ince, Metamorph, Kingly, and the SSB Group, suggesting that the SRA’s resources and focus would be better allocated elsewhere.

Jeffery also pointed out that the SRA has not sufficiently demonstrated any potential benefits for consumers, a concern echoed by the Legal Services Consumer Panel and the Justice Select Committee. Both bodies criticised the lack of evidence supporting the proposals and expressed doubts about the claimed simplification benefits for consumers.

The consensus among opponents is that integrating CILEX regulation into the SRA at this time would confuse consumers and undermine their ability to make informed legal choices, particularly for complex legal needs. The prevailing view remains that CILEX members should continue to be regulated under the current bespoke arrangements with CRL.

As the SRA Board prepares to make its decision, the legal community awaits the outcome, hoping that the widespread concerns raised will be heeded.

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