09 Dec

10 year anniversary for practice rights

Practice Rights December 2013 to December 2023


2013 may seem a long time ago but in the context of the long history of Legal Executives, it is really quite recent.  But why is this significant?


It is because it was on 9 December 2013, the Legal Services Board (LSB) decided to grant an application to make a recommendation to the Lord Chancellor that an order be made designating the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEX) as an approved regulator for the reserved legal activities of reserved instrument activities and probate activities.


Ten years ago


This was significant because some areas of legal work can only be undertaken by, or under the supervision of, an authorised person (these are known as `reserved activities’, as defined in the Legal Services Act 2007).


A Chartered Legal Executive is an authorised person for the administration of oaths only, experienced, skilled and knowledgeable, but restricted to this one reserved activity.  The designation now meant that there were more choices available for those who wanted them, in the areas of Conveyancing, Immigration, Litigation (Civil, Criminal & Family) and Probate.


For the first time, CILEX Members were able to apply to gain an independent practice right which meant that they could carry out work in a reserved activity, beyond the administration of oaths, without supervision in an appropriately regulated firm or organisation.


This meant more choices were made available for Chartered Legal Executives: they could now actively supervise colleagues’ work in these reserved activities or even set-up their own firm and become their own boss.


2013 v 2023


Originally the portfolio only application route was the only route available for those wanting to apply for additional rights. Now in 2023, there are more choices as CLE’s progress as a CILEX Member.


      • The CPQ route allows you to apply for a practice right as you become a Chartered Legal Executive.


    • For established Chartered Legal Executives you have a choice of how you gain your rights:


    • Routes have also been created for ACCA accountants to offer probate alongside their traditional accountancy services.


    • CRL are currently seeking to obtain Higher Rights of Audience for those who wish to develop their careers further.


Underpinning all of these choices are the knowledge, skills and experience that Chartered Legal Executives acquire as they complete their training.


Why obtain Practice Rights?


There are now over 300 practice rights holders, and the numbers continue to grow month on month.


With greater use of technology and online searches for specific key titles such as CILEX Conveyancing Practitioner and CILEX Probate Practitioner are becoming more common. Having those titles makes gaining clients easier for you and your employer, as well as recognising your skills and the benefits that having a practice right brings for career choices.


There remains much work to be done in the coming years on developing and refining our processes and increasing the capacity for Chartered Legal Executives to gain practice rights, but CRL remains committed to this work.


Happy 10th anniversary practice rights – we look forward to finding out what the next 10 years hold.


To find out more about how Practice Rights could help your career progression – please email practicerights@cilexregulation.org.uk