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”).
Please note: you need to make a conduct declaration as soon as conduct occurs. 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.
For example, if you are in an arrangement with your creditors whereby you will pay the full amount of a debt, then you do not need to declare this. Or 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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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).
Please access the prior conduct questions and guidance to find out more.
Further guidance on specific conduct issues is set out below:
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
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Yes, you can apply again.