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The Legal Executive Lawyer
Not all lawyers are solicitors or barristers. Under the Legal Services Act (LSA) 2007, Legal Executives are recognised as lawyers,
which means they are authorised to conduct certain reserved legal activities. They are represented by the Institute of Legal
Executives (ILEX) which has 22,000 members. Of these, around 7,500 are fully qualified and entitled to call themselves legal
executive lawyers. All ILEX members are independently regulated by ILEX Professional Standards Ltd (IPS).
What does a legal Executive lawyer do?
Legal executive lawyers work in solicitors’ firms, local authorities, the Civil Service, the Crown Prosecution Service, charities,
industry and commerce. Legal executive lawyers can be partners in legal disciplinary partnership firms.
Legal executive lawyers specialise in a particular area of law. They are usually senior members of staff and will have a
significant client portfolio. Legal executives may head a department and be responsible for management functions in a law
firm. They can also act as Commissioners for Oaths, administer affidavits and declarations, and charge a fee for doing so.
Experienced legal executive lawyers can train to be court advocates in criminal and family matters in magistrates’ courts, or in
civil matters in county courts. Legal executive lawyers can also apply for certain judicial posts.
Qualifying as a legal executive lawyer
Legal executive lawyers are sometimes referred to as Fellows of ILEX. Such persons will have fulfilled ILEX’s academic
requirements to be a Graduate Member and completed five years’ qualifying employment.
The academic requirement for Graduate Members is comprised of two stages of formal training: 10 units of study to achieve
the Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice, followed by six units of study to achieve the Level 6 Professional Higher
Diploma in Law and Practice. Three of the five years’ qualifying employment, which must be served by working under the
supervision of a legal executive lawyer/solicitor/barrister or licensed conveyancer, may be accumulated concurrently with the
Typically, those qualifying through ILEX will study while working, either through ILEX Tutorial College’s distance learning
courses or by part-time study at one of ILEX’s many accredited academic study centres.
Benefits of the ILEX qualification
The ILEX qualification is flexible. Individual units can be studied by those working as support staff or paralegals.
There are a variety of membership grades available for those who are part qualified.
Students can study for the qualification at their own speed as there is currently no time limit for completion.
For students who want to transfer to be a solicitor, ILEX Level 6 exam passes corresponding with the seven foundations of
legal knowledge may be counted towards academic stage training (CPE).
Under current regulations, legal executive lawyers can be exempted from the SRA’s training contract.
Why employers should look for ILEX qualified staff
Good value compared with solicitors due to lower regulatory costs
The typical annual fee-earning target is £60-£100k, but it can be much higher.
Part-qualified staff can be charged out at Band Level D in civil matters under HMCS’s Summary assessment of costs
guidelines. Legal executive lawyers with four years or more experience can be charged out at Band B.
For further information about Legal Executive lawyers contact:
or visit www.ilex.org.uk
for a list of qualified Legal executive lawyers
Institute of Legal Executives, Kempston Manor, Kempston, Bedford, MK42 7AB. DX 124780 Kempston 2
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