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Enforcement Portfolio Holder:

Ian Chivers Chartered Legal Executive Board Member

Key Objectives: IPS will ensure that it: • Continues to monitor key performance indicators to ensure that the processes are effective and timely.

• Keeps abreast of case law in this area, revising policies and procedures to be compliant.

• Manages the recruitment and turnover of panellists.

Complaints casework and key performance indicators Our aim is to maintain our standard of dealing effectively with allegations where the conduct of a CILEx member falls below the standards expected of them. We continued to operate those processes effectively in 2014. Twenty two complaints were dealt with against CILEx members and nine cases were heard before the Disciplinary Tribunal. The annual report of the work of the panels is at Annex 2.

We record performance against key performance indicators that we have set for ourselves. In 2014 we exceeded our performance indicators for conclusion of all cases referred to the Disciplinary Tribunal within 6 months. This is an impressive improvement on last year. However, in three cases delays by the parties affected the achievement of similar performance levels at the first tier panel stage. 79% of investigations met the key performance indicator which is to complete 100% of investigations within 9 months.

Investigation, Disciplinary and Appeals Rules Development The Fitness to Practise Procedures Manual (FTPP) is guidance for decision makers within IPS and provides transparency in decision making. The manual has been rewritten to reflect the new IDAR 2015.

The policies that are incorporated in the manual have also been updated. They cover the adjournments policy, publication policy and the decision making guidance for disciplinary bodies. A new fines policy has also been prepared.

Fines Policy We developed new levels of fine levels that a disciplinary panel can order where a misconduct finding is made.

We consulted on our proposals. The consultation respondents provided general support for an increase in the fine levels and the approach to the determining factors on the level of fine.

The new levels were approved by IPS and CILEx and have been approved by the Legal Services Board.

Equality and Diversity We reviewed the report dated February 2014 by Professor Gus John, entitled ‘Independent comparative case review, the Solicitors Regulatory Authority’ (Report).

The Report identified how to protect against disproportionate regulatory outcomes for BME lawyers.

The review by IPS was to identify the key findings of the Report and to consider its impact on IPS. A number of action points have been identified some of which IPS has already implemented, the remainder of which will be implemented in 2015 and/or developed for implementation in 2015.

14 Professional standards for specialist lawyers

Panellist Training There are three complaints handling and disciplinary panels under the new rules. They are the Professional Conduct Panel, Disciplinary Tribunal and Appeals Panel. New panel members have been recruited to the panels to fill new vacancies and posts of retiring panellists. We thank our retiring panellists for their work and dedication on the panels. We look forward to working with the new panellists once they have completed their training.

We also recruited an independent clerk to each panel and they are completing their training.

Legal Ombudsman We continue to work with the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) each year. We updated the Memorandum of Understanding and Protocols between the two organisations to ensure that information will be shared on IPS’ new regulated community.

User feedback We continue to send questionnaires to complainants who made complaints about CILEx members and to members against whom a complaint was made. The aim of the questionnaires is to seek feedback from members and complainants on our performance during the complaints handing process and to identify areas where we can improve. The annual report of the feedback received is at Annex 3.

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