Law Society stands firm in its opposition to the SRA regulating CILEX members

Despite serious concerns from solicitors, CILEX members and consumer representatives, the Board of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has agreed to regulate authorised and non-authorised members of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEX), in a decision that would, if it goes ahead, irreparably change the legal regulatory landscape.

The Law Society of England and Wales has repeatedly opposed this change, expressing concern that it would have a negative impact on consumers, the wider public interest and the regulatory objectives.

Ian Jeffery, chief executive officer of the Law Society, said: “We are deeply concerned that the SRA Board has given the go ahead to regulating CILEX members, despite its own regulated community, and CILEX’s members objecting to the idea of regulatory change, and the Legal Services Consumer Panel stating that the consumer case has not been made.

“For the last two years, the Law Society has advocated on behalf of our members opposing the proposal and raising concerns at the serious negative impact it will have on regulated communities, consumers of legal services and the wider public interest.

“The change will cause consumer confusion, as it will be less clear which profession is which, and where different authorisations for practice areas apply. This is likely to be a particular problem for those with complex legal issues, or vulnerable consumers.

“The SRA requires the Law Society’s approval for changes to the corporate objects of SRA Limited in order to be able to take on the regulation of CILEX members. The SRA has created the impression that this is no more than an administrative issue to be resolved.

“Instead, the Law Society has consistently said our consent cannot be assumed. This is a matter for the Law Society’s Council to decide at the appropriate time when any proposals are made and supported by a persuasive case for change.

“We are concerned that the redelegation of CILEX’s regulatory functions to the SRA could adversely affect the SRA’s ability to meet its duty to regulate the solicitor profession in a way that supports and promotes the regulatory objectives. This is of particular concern in light of the collapses of Axiom Ince, Metamorph, Kingly and the SSB Group.”

Notes to editors

Since 2022, CILEX have been in formal discussions with the SRA about changing the way its members are regulated. CILEX members are currently regulated by CILEx Regulation. If the proposed changes go ahead, the SRA will become the regulator of CILEX members.

Read the SRA’s announcement

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Press office contact: Naomi Jeffreys | 020 8049 3928

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