The opportunities to provide legal services to consumers continue to grow throughout the whole legal sector. In addition to working in a regulated firm, or as an in-house specialist, you could work on your own or in an unregulated firm. For example:
- Self-employed in own legal firm
- Employed in legal firm (<10% ownership)
- Other own unregulated firm (i.e. SWW, IPWW, IoP)
CILEx Regulation can regulate firms offering conveyancing, litigation (civil, criminal or family), immigration and/or probate. These can either be via 100% lawyer owned firms or sole practitioners, or via Alternative Business Structures (ABS), with non-lawyer ownership.
CILEX members can also provide non-reserved legal activities (i.e. not any of the following: advocacy, litigation, conveyancing, immigration or probate) through their own unregulated firms. You should seek legal advice if you are working independently to ensure that none of the legal services you provide are likely to fall within the scope of any of the reserved legal activities, in particular litigation activities.
Whilst these firms cannot be authorised and regulated by CILEx Regulation, and so do not offer the same protections to the client, CILEX members must still comply with the Code of Conduct and any other relevant regulatory and legal requirements. These firms should be aware of First Tier Complaints Handling Guidance and requirement to provide consumers with information about an alternative dispute resolution body.
CILEX members in independent practice providing non-reserved legal activities are not required to have professional indemnity insurance. However, CILEx Regulation considers it is in the interests of consumers that an appropriate professional indemnity insurance policy is in force. If no insurance policy is in force, you may be personally liable if a claim is successfully made against you.
CILEX are keen to help members:
- Understand how they are regulated
- Understand what legal services they can provide outside of a regulated firm
- Engage with how CILEx Regulation will supervise them
- Understand if they need to be supervised under the Money Laundering Regulations
- Understand the information they should provide to their clients
- Provide a pathway to operating their own regulated firm
CILEx Regulation supervises the membership of CILEX in a way that is proportionate and risk-based. To do that we need to understand exactly what work CILEX members carry out, who for, and under what regulatory arrangements.
That is why advising CILEX annually of your working arrangements via myCILEX is vitally important as it allows us to support you in an appropriate manner. You should also advise CILEX immediately of any changes during the year.
If you are thinking about working as a locum/consultant or in your own unregulated firm, then please contact CILEX for advice and to update your records.
If you are thinking about your firm becoming authorised by CILEx Regulation to provide reserved or regulated legal services, then please contact the Entity Authorisation and Supervision Team at firstname.lastname@example.org