From legal apprentice to CILEx President

The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) has sworn in its 50th President at a ceremony in Durham on 19th July. Stephen Gowland started off his legal career as an apprentice and now runs his own law firm.

Speaking in the Great Hall of Durham Castle, the new President said: “I really had no idea what I wanted to do as a career and it was only when an advert appeared in the local newspaper for an employment training scheme in law that made me think of becoming a lawyer… I knew I didn’t want to go to university, so doing something with a more definite goal at the end seemed sensible.”

Stephen spoke of his hope for Chartered Legal Executives with aspirations of establishing their own firms, and the applications for additional independent practice rights currently being considered by the Legal Services Board. He said: “The issue of practice rights is an important one for CILEx. I have run my own law firm for almost nine years now and I can see no reason why CILEx members should not be able to independently set up their own practices… My experience has convinced me of the principle that one’s opportunity to practise should be based on competence, and not on restrictive regulations.”

Stephen Gowland has taken over from Nick Hanning, who has served as CILEx President since July last year. CILEx Law School’s Managing Director Noel Inge and Business Director Jenny Pelling were guests at the ceremony.