CILEX (the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives), which is recognised under the Legal Services Act 2007 as the front line regulator for legal executives is looking to switch regulators. Currently ‘specialist’ CILEx lawyers, legal executives and paralegals are regulated by CILEx Regulation (CRL), the separate regulatory arm that was established as a result of the requirements in the Legal Services Act for all authorised legal professions to have independent regulators. Prompted by concerns about the capacity of CRL, CILEx is looking to transfer responsibility for its regulation to the Solicitors Regulation Authority. This would see the transfer of all 20,000 of its members.
The move has been prompted, inter alia, by CILEx concerns over the capacity of its regulator to meet the growing compliance needs of the financial and public sector registries, and thus enable CILEx regulated professionals to continue to undertake work they do in these areas.
The SRA have agreed to formal discussions with CILEx and will now develop a proposal to be considered by the CILEx board to assess the viability of the switch.
There is some controversy around the proposal and the existing regulator is unhappy with the interpretation of the Legal Services Act 2007, arguing that it is up to the regulator, not the professional body, to decide on necessary changes to regulation.