Practice rights

Practice rights are areas of legal work, referred to as reserved and regulated legal activities, which can only be undertaken by, or under the supervision, of an authorised person. They can only be conducted within a law firm or other legal entity that is itself regulated.

Understanding practice rights

Click on the options below for additional background information on practice rights.

The graphic below illustrates regulation within the legal profession and the role of professionals with practice rights.

There are currently six areas of reserved legal activity. This was determined by Parliament in the Legal Services Act 2007. They are:

  1. the exercise of rights of audience, which is the right to appear before a court on behalf of a client. It is also referred to as advocacy;
  2. the conduct of litigation, which is the management of a case through court;
  3. reserved instrument activities, for example the transfer of land or property;
  4. probate activities, which relate to dealing with the estate of someone who has died;
  5. notarial activities, including the authentication of documents and transactions;
  6. the administration of oaths, such as affidavits which are written statements use as evidence in court.

CILEx practice rights

CILEx Regulation, the regulatory arm of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx), is able to grant practice rights in conveyancing, probate practice and immigration. It can also confer litigation and advocacy practice rights.

Click on the practice right you are interested in to find out about the requirements, qualifications you can achieve, and the rights acquired if your application is successful.

Eligibility: this is open to CILEx and non-CILEx members

Requirements:

1. relevant law and practice knowledge in conveyancing – this can be met by

2. skills in client care and legal research – this can be met by passing CILEx Level 6 Client Care and CILEx Level 6 Legal Research, either as part of your CILEx Level 6 Diploma or as Single Subject Certificates, or by demonstrating equivalent training

3. experience in conveyancing – at least five years’ experience are required, two of which must occur immediately preceding your application

Title upon qualification: CILEx Conveyancing Practitioner

Rights acquired:

  • Preparing any instrument of transfer or charge for the purposes of the Land Registration Act 2002 (c. 9)
  • Making an application or lodging a document for registration under that Act
  • Preparing any other instrument relating to real or personal estate for the purposes of the law of England and Wales or instrument relating to court proceedings in England and Wales

Eligibility: this is open to CILEx and non-CILEx members

Requirements:

1. relevant law and practice knowledge in probate, wills and estate administration – this can be met by

2. skills in client care and legal research – this can be met by passing CILEx Level 6 Client Care and CILEx Level 6 Legal Research, either as part of your CILEx Level 6 Diploma or as Single Subject Certificates, or by demonstrating equivalent training

3. experience in probate, wills and estate administration – at least five years’ experience are required, two of which must occur immediately preceding your application

Title upon qualification: CILEx Probate Practitioner

Rights acquired: preparing any probate papers on which to found or oppose a grant of probate or a grant of letters of administration

Requirements: this is open to CILEx Fellows who can demonstrate their competence in immigration work

Title upon qualification: CILEx Immigration Practitioner

Rights acquired: you will be able to provide advice and representation to clients seeking immigration services in relevant matters as defined in the Immigration Certification Rules

Requirements: this is open to CILEx Fellows who can demonstrate current knowledge and experience of litigation and who have completed the advocacy skills course

Title upon qualification: Chartered Legal Executive Advocate

Rights acquired: you will have advocacy rights in your chosen practice area. Further information is available here.

Practice Rights or Chartered Legal Executive training – understanding the differences

Practice rights allow you to carry out activities without supervision while becoming a Chartered Legal Executive means that you are a qualified lawyer. Below is a comparison of the two options and important factors to consider as you weigh your options:

The Chartered Legal Executive route enables you to become a fully qualified Chartered Legal Executive lawyer specialised in Conveyancing or Probate. Using this route, you not only obtain CILEx Fellowship but also recognised academic qualifications (CILEx Level 3 Certificate in Law and Practice, CILEx Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice and CILEx Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law and Practice). Using this foundation, you will have a range of options, from retraining without losing your status as a qualified lawyer should you wish to change your practice area, to progressing your career to become a partner. As such, in most instances you will find that you don’t need to acquire practice rights to have a fulfilling career.

However, you will also have the option to acquire Conveyancing or Probate Practice Rights, either at a later date or using experience from your period of qualifying employment as part of the five years’ relevant experience required to apply.

The table below outlines how to become a fully qualified Chartered Legal Executive Lawyer specialised in Conveyancing or Probate and what is required to then acquire Conveyancing Practice Rights.

In order to acquire practice rights, you need to satisfy the following requirements:

  1. Knowledge – demonstrable relevant training in either conveyancing or probate practice
  2. Experience – at least five years’ experience, two of which must immediate precede the application
  3. Skill – demonstrable understanding of client care and legal research

The table below further outlines the requirements:

Qualifying as a Chartered Legal Executive provides a much broader level of legal knowledge. You need to study three CILEx Level 6 law units and one practice unit. By comparison you only need to study one law and its linked practice unit within the practice rights training route.

Becoming a Chartered Legal Executive does not in itself give you practice rights, although the law and practice units, professional skills and qualifying employment elements of the training do contribute towards practice rights requirements if you wished to go on to apply for these at a later date.

However you should consider that becoming a Chartered Legal Executive gives you the benefit of more knowledge, recognised qualifications and the status of lawyer.  It also gives you a more versatile opportunity to retain and move laterally at the same level.

Acquiring practice rights allows you to carry out activities independently. This means that you:

  • can carry out a wider breadth of legal activities in your practice area
  • have increased status within your work environment
  • do not need to rely on the availability of others to progress your work.

Acquiring practice rights is also another way of demonstrating your knowledge and expertise in your chosen field.

If you already work in Conveyancing or in Probate Practice, have the required experience, and you know that you only want to develop your knowledge and skills in these areas, then the Conveyancing or Probate Practice Rights route may work for you.

However you should consider that becoming a Chartered Legal Executive gives you recognised qualifications and the status of lawyer while still allowing you to specialise in your chosen practice area.

Within the CILEx Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law and Practice, which is the final stage of academic training in the Chartered Legal Executive route, you can tailor your selection of units to be relevant to your work. For example, you could choose Equity and Trusts as one of your law units which would be of benefit in both Conveyancing and Probate Practice.

It’s also worth remembering that the two options are not mutually exclusive – you can qualify as a Chartered Legal Executive and still acquire practice rights.