Prior conduct

All applicants, CILEx members, CILEx Practitioners and individuals holding approved roles in our Authorised Entity firms are required to declare and provide details of certain conduct that may affect their suitability to become, or remain, a regulated legal professional (referred to as “prior conduct”).

You must complete a prior conduct declaration at the earliest opportunity after the conduct occurs, in every application for CILEX membership or authorisation, and when renewing your CILEX membership each year. If you hold an approved role in an Authorised Entity, you must also complete a prior conduct declaration with any annual return.

Changes to the declaration process from August 2021

Completing a prior conduct declaration previously meant answering a series of prior conduct questions on an online, or paper, form at each stage above. This has now changed.

You must now complete a declaration through the conduct declaration page of your myCILEx account where you will be prompted to follow these three steps:

  1. Carefully read through the prior conduct guidance notes to ensure that you have correctly understood what needs to be declared.
  2. Review any prior conduct you have declared since August 2019 (i.e. prior conduct  questions that  you have previously answered “yes” to) by clicking the link to the “My Conduct Cases” page of your account.
  3. Select one of two statements to confirm that either:
    A. The information we hold about your previous declaration(s) is still correct and that you have nothing new to declare; or
    B. That you need to complete a new declaration by answering the prior conduct questions.

If you select statement A, your prior conduct declaration will be complete. If you select statement B you will need to answer the prior conduct questions to complete your declaration. In either case you will be asked to answer some additional questions about your work before you can submit your declaration.

Which statement should you select?

If your previously declared conduct is the same but the circumstances have changed, please select statement A and contact CILEx Regulation separately to provide an update. You do not need to answer the prior conduct questions again, unless CILEx Regulation asks you to.

You should only select statement B and answer the prior conduct questions if:

  • There is no record of your prior conduct in the My Conduct Cases page of your myCILEX account;
  • You are applying for CILEX membership for the first time;
  • You are applying to reinstate your previous CILEX membership;
  • You are applying to become a Chartered Legal Executive (Fellow), a CILEX Practitioner, or for an approved role in an Authorised Entity firm;
  • You have something new to declare; or
  • CILEx Regulation has advised you to answer the prior conduct questions again.

You must ensure that any information you provide as part of your declaration is correct as disciplinary action may be taken if you provide any false information.

If you are unsure about what to declare, or how to declare it, please contact CILEx Regulation.

Prior conduct - find out more

How to make a conduct declaration

It’s now quicker and easier to make a conduct declaration online. Go to myCILEx and click on the ‘My conduct declaration’ tile. If you’re having any problems, contact us at info@cilexregulation.org.uk

When to declare prior conduct

Applicants: there is a prior conduct declaration form included in the application form for CILEx membership. Relevant Persons: All CILEx Members, CILEx Practitioners and Approved Managers must make a declaration:

• as soon as the conduct occurs; and
• when CILEx membership and/or practising certificate is renewed and in any annual return; and
• on every CILEx and CILEx Regulation application form (including, but not only in, applications for qualifying employment and work based learning).

What do I need to declare and what don't I need to declare?

Please access the prior conduct questions and guidance to find out more.

 

Further guidance on specific conduct issues is set out below:

 

Criminal convictions/cautions

 

You must not declare spent convictions, cautions, reprimands or final warnings unless you are, or are applying to become, a Chartered Legal Executive, a CILEx Practitioner or an individual holding an approved role in an Authorised Entity.
Chartered Legal Executives, CILEx Practitioners and individuals holding approved roles in Authorised Entities are exempt from the restrictions regarding disclosure under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

 

You must declare all convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings that are not protected, including those that are spent if you are or applying to become a Chartered Legal Executive, CILEx Practitioner or an approved role in an Authorised Entities.
Guidance on whether a conviction/caution is spent can be found here.

 

No-one is required to declare protected convictions or cautions.
Guidance on whether a conviction/caution protected can be found here.

 

You may also find this useful in determining whether a conviction or caution is spent and/or protected: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/telling-people-about-your-criminal-record

 

Debts

 

If you are in an arrangement with your creditors whereby you will pay the full amount of the debt then you do not need to declare this. Examples of such a situations are where you have agreed with a creditor, e.g. your mortgage lender or your bank, that you will pay the full amount that you owe to them but over a longer period of time; or where you have a agreed to a payment holiday.

If I answer `yes' to any of the questions what happens next?

If you answered ‘yes’ and this is the first time you’ve declared the conduct, we will conduct an initial assessment to decide whether it can be approved by us or whether it has to be referred to the professional conduct panel (PCP). We will need to ask you some questions about your conduct to make this decision.

 

We may need to make enquiries of third parties as well. If you have answered `yes’ to any of the questions and you have declared the conduct before, it has been approved by us and you are not applying to change grade, it is unlikely that further enquiries will be made of you unless there is missing or incomplete information.

If I answer `no' to all of the questions what happens next?

Your declaration will be recorded to enable us to confirm you have met the regulatory requirement to complete a declaration, but there will be no referral to the enforcement team.

What is the professional conduct panel (PCP)?

The professional conduct panel is an independent panel which is made up of one professional member (a Chartered Legal Executive) and two lay members.

 

The PCP considers conduct matters referred to it by us in circumstances where the Enforcement Rules do not allow us to make a decision about the conduct declared.

 

The PCP is supported by an independent clerk who takes minutes of the meeting and assists with procedural matters. The clerk takes no part in the decision making.

What happens if my conduct is referred to the professional conduct panel (PCP)?

We will write a report to the PCP and send it to them in advance of the meeting. The PCP will meet and decide what action to take, based on the information in the report, including the information you have provided.

 

The PCP can:
• refuse an application
• decide the conduct does not affect an application
• impose conditions in respect of future conduct
• require undertaking(s) as to future conduct
• reprimand and/or warn
• refer the conduct to the Disciplinary Tribunal as if it were an allegation of misconduct

 

If the PCP make any adverse findings against you, CILEx Regulation may notify other regulatory and oversight bodies of the PCP’s decision. If you are a CILEx Member, CILEx Practitioner, or Approved Manager, we may also notify your employer, record the outcome in the CILEx practice or Entity directory and publish it in-line with the CILEx Regulation Publication Policy. If published on our website, it will also appear on the Legal Choices website.

What information do I need to provide?

The PCP will want a signed personal statement of events setting out the circumstances that lead to the conduct. They will also want two up-to-date, signed references from two referees of good standing.

 

You may provide any other information that you wish the PCP to consider.

Where are the meetings held?

All PCP meetings are currently held remotely via an online video link (Microsoft Teams) unless the PCP decides an in-person meeting is necessary. You will be informed if this happens. In-person meetings are held at our temporary meeting rooms at Endeavour House, Wrest Park, Silsoe Bedfordshire MK45 4DP

Can I attend and if so can I be represented?

The PCP is a private meeting and there is no right of attendance. If the PCP request your attendance, then you may be represented and we may also attend and be represented.

When do I find out the professional conduct panel's (PCP) decision?

A decision will usually be made on the day of the meeting, unless further information is required by the PCP.

 

The PCP clerk will send the decision notice to us within 14 days of the meeting and we will send the decision notice to you within 7 days of receiving it.

Can I appeal a decision made by the PCP?

Yes you can appeal a decision no later than 42 days after the date on which the decision was made.

To appeal you will need to follow the procedure set out in paragraph 20 of the Enforcement Rules.