Business people

Partners, Judges and Advocates

Chartered Legal Executives as Partners, Judges & Advocates

Chartered Legal Executives as Partners

Legal Disciplinary Practices

The Legal Services Act 2007 amended statutory powers of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) – the independent regulatory organisation of the Law Society – to enable it to regulate legal disciplinary practices (LDPs), that is firms in which solicitors can join with other types of lawyers and have up to 25% of non-lawyers as managers. LDP's came into force on 31 March 2009.

Practising Fellows of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives are ‘authorised persons’ under the Act and are now able to become a partner (director/shareholder in a company or member in an LLP) in an SRA-authorised firm, as are barristers, licensed conveyancers, notaries, patents and trade mark agents and Costs Lawyers.

The Council for Licensed Conveyancers already has more flexible statutory powers than the SRA, but its powers have been amended in broadly the same way as those of the SRA.

On 9 March 2011, glasses were raised at the House of Commons as the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives toasted its first 100 Chartered Legal Executive partners and its first Chartered Legal Executive judge.

In LDPs in England and Wales the most common non-solicitor partner is a Chartered Legal Executive lawyer.

Chartered Legal Executives as Judges & Coroners

Practising Fellows with five years’ post-qualification experience are now eligible to apply for some judicial appointments, alongside barristers and solicitors and other recognised lawyers.

This follows completion of the final stages of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 which gained Royal Assent in July 2007. A key purpose of the legislation is to support diversity by widening the range of those eligible to apply to become judges.

The changes in legislation are part of government commitment to increasing public confidence in the judiciary and the justice system. This widening of eligibility means that the Judicial Appointments Commission will be able to draw from a wider pool of talent when running selection exercises ensuring the most talented and able candidates are appointed to the judiciary.

The changes allow those with the relevant skills, experience and expertise to apply for judicial office, instead of just solicitors and barristers, which is a significant step forward.

The following posts are now open to suitably qualified CILEx Fellows:

  • District Judge; District Judge (Magistrates Courts)
  • Deputy District Judge; Deputy District Judge (Magistrates Courts)
  • Road User Charging Adjudicator
  • Legally qualified member of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal
  • Member of Panel of Chairmen of the Employment Tribunal;
  • Judge of the First Tier Tribunal; and
  • Adjudicators (regulation 17 Civil Enforcement of Parking Conventions).

The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has said that this approach has been taken to maintain the policy principle that those newly eligible should be eligible only for more junior level posts. The MoJ envisages that, over time, Fellows of CILEx will be able to amass sufficient experience to apply for more senior level posts.

The latest posts available through the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) selection exercises can be found on the JAC website.

CILEx strongly recommends that members who are considering applying for a judicial appointment take part in the CILEx Judicial Development Programme and the workshadow a judge scheme before making an application. The scheme is aimed at giving those who are thinking of applying for judicial office an insight into judicial work and responsibilities. The scheme provides the opportunity to spend up to three days observing (both in and out of court) the working lives of judges.

To find out more about becoming a judge in the future you can join one of our 'Be a Judge' workshops, produced in conjunction with the JAC. Register for a workshop here.

Chartered Legal Executives can also apply to become Coroners.  To learn more information about this interesting career path please click here.   

Chartered Legal Executives as Advocates

CILEx members are able to qualify as Chartered Legal Executive advocates

The qualification enables CILEx members to exercise greater rights of audience. The rights of audience that CILEx can grant are split into civil, criminal and family proceedings, and these are set out below. The qualification scheme is available to Graduate Members and practising Fellows, although Graduate Members will not be able to exercise their advocacy rights until they fully qualify. Graduate Members and practising Fellows should seek rights in the area of law in which they practice.

Civil Proceedings Certificate

  • To appear in open court in the County Court in all actions, except family proceedings
  • To appear before Justices or a District Judge (Magistrates' Court) in the Magistrates' Courts in relation to all matters originating by complaint or application, including applications under the licensing, betting and gaming legislation
  • To appear before any tribunal under the supervision of the Council on Tribunals where the tribunal rules provide for a non-discretionary right of audience being available to barristers and solicitors
  • To appear before Coroners' Courts in respect of all matters determined by those Courts and to exercise rights of audience similar to those exercised by solicitors and barristers.

Criminal Proceedings Certificate

  • To appear before Justices or a District Judge (Magistrates' Court) in all adult magistrates courts in relation to all matters within that Court's criminal jurisdiction
  • To appear before Justices or a District Judge (Magistrates' Court) in all Youth Courts in relation to all matters within that Court's criminal jurisdiction
  • To appear in the Crown Court or High Court before a judge in chambers to conduct bail applications;
  • To appear in the Crown Court on appeal from the Magistrates' Court, the Youth Court or on committal of an adult for sentence or to be dealt with, if s/he, or any solicitor by whom s/he is employed or any other solicitor or Fellow in the same employment as her/him, appeared on behalf of the defendant in the Magistrates' Court or Youth Court;
  • To appear before Coroners' Courts in respect of all matters determined by those Courts, and to exercise rights of audience similar to those exercised by solicitors and barristers.

Family Proceedings Certificate

  • To appear in Court (including in open court) in all County Court family proceedings
  • To appear before Justices or a District Judge (Magistrates' Court) in the Family Proceedings Courts;
  • To appear before Coroners' Courts in respect of all matters determined by those Courts, and to exercise rights of audience similar to those exercised by solicitors and barristers.

More information specifically for CILEx members on becoming an advocate is available on the Members Only section of the website.