The Solicitors Regulation Authority should drop plans to regulate CILEX members and concentrate on its core regulatory responsibilities, the chief executive of the Law Society has said.

Chancery Lane made clear last year that it opposed proposals for the SRA to regulate CILEX members authorised to carry out reserved legal activities, warning that the regulator risked reputational damage and that its expanded powers would interfere with the independence of the solicitor profession.

Responding to a further consultation on proposals for the SRA to regulate CILEX paralegals and students ('non-authorised' CILEX members because they are not authorised to carry out reserved legal activities), Society chief executive Ian Jeffery said the regulator should withdraw the full set of proposals.

Ian Jeffery

Jeffery: Council members would need to approve changes to allow regulatory takeover

Source: Michael Cross

Jeffery said the latest consultation removes from scope the question of whether regulating CILEX members is something the solicitor’s regulator should be doing. The SRA should ‘withdraw these and the previous CILEX proposals and instead concentrate on its core regulatory responsibilities’.

Jeffery said it was unnecessary to regulate ‘non-authorised’ CILEX members because CILEX can deal with them as a membership body.

As well as increasing the risk of consumer confusion, Jeffery said the proposals could hamper the SRA’s ability to meet its duty to regulate the solicitor profession in a way that supports and promotes the regulatory objectives.

‘There is an impression in the consultation that the Law Society’s approval of the necessary changes to the corporate objects of the SRA to be able to take on the regulation of CILEX members is no more than an administrative issue to be resolved. Such approval cannot be assumed, and would in any event require a decision of the Society’s council,’ Jeffery said.


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