CILEx Regulation is to review its innovative regulatory model, including whether the process can be streamlined for paralegals to become specialist lawyers – capable of setting up their own firms and operating independently.
In a speech to the Westminster Legal Policy Forum, board member David Gilbertson set out how CILEx Regulation has been ahead of the game in innovating legal regulation, moving away from old ‘tick-box’ style systems to a more outcomes-focused and competency-based model. Two years on from the reforms, CILEx Regulation will now review how it can go further.
David said: “Our CPD scheme was innovative for the sector at the time of its introduction. It removed the requirement for hours or points to be accumulated and replaced it with a requirement to meet a minimum number of learning outcomes, relevant to the individual. During this period of change, CILEx Regulation also secured independent practice rights for CILEx members, enabling them to qualify to work in reserved activities independently.”
CILEx Regulation, which regulates specialist lawyers, also introduced a competency based process for seeking authorisation as a lawyer, through the submission of a portfolio of evidence drawn from their caseload. Applicants provide a reasoned, evidenced document which demonstrates that they have the necessary knowledge, skills and competence to be admitted as a qualified lawyer.
David went on to say: “We are going to consider the evidence that 2 years of operation of these schemes has provided, and we will be looking at the possibility of creating streamlined pathways to enable paralegals to become both Chartered Legal Executives and CILEx Practitioners, without the need for unnecessary duplication of evidence where it is appropriate to do so.”
CILEx Regulation will soon be submitting an application to become a licensing authority for Alternative Business Structures (ABSs), which will expand opportunities for Chartered Legal Executives and CILEx Practitioners, as well as provide a greater regulatory choice for existing law firms and ABSs.