Mixed response to LSB’s plan for regulatory overhaul, with Falconer calling for focus on unmet legal need instead
Reactions from key legal services industry bodies to the Legal Services Board’s blueprint for radical form of legal regulation have ranged from enthusiastic welcome to anger at its timing, while the politician who introduced the Legal Services Act 2007 said tackling unmet legal need was more of a priority.
The body representing chartered legal executives has called on the profession to end discrimination against lawyers who have qualified through non-university routes and open up the senior judiciary to those entered the law by alternative means.
Litigants with limited funds should use direct access barristers to represent them in court rather than pay for McKenzie Friends, the Bar Council has argued. The Bar Council, along with the Law Society and Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, supported the judiciary’s call for a ban on professional McKenzie Friends.
A proposal by CILEx Regulation to make it easier for paralegals to become qualified legal executives has been fiercely rejected as likely to cause “confusion to employers and consumers” by the new voluntary paralegals regulator.
A team of legal executives who were once a debt recovery arm of Eversheds, has launched an alternative business structure to bring litigation in-house under the supervision of its FILEx head of legal practice.
The Government Legal Service has decided to open its lawyer job vacancies to fellows of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives for the first time. The first job being advertised is a £53,196 position as lawyer at HM Revenue & Customs.
The Bar Standards Board has turned to the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives to provide training to members of staff without legal qualifications. Meanwhile, ILEX Professional Standards – CILEx’s regulatory arm – is on the hunt for a new chief executive.
ILEX Professional Standards (IPS) has applied to the Legal Services Board (LSB) to raise the maximum fines limit for chartered legal executives from the current £3,000 to a top level of £50m.
Chartered legal executives will be able to set up their own law firms in the New Year – a move that ILEX Professional Standards said would for the first time also give solicitors’ firms a choice of regulator, and that the government said would help consumers access legal services.