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Understanding the Chartered Legal Executives position

View profile for Emma Greenland
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Understanding the Chartered Legal Executives position

I am a Chartered Legal Executive, working within the private client department which covers  wills, lasting powers of attorney, trusts and probate. 

I prepare lasting powers of attorney for my clients and can complete all necessary requirements within the preparation process, as a solicitor can. However, when my client asks for a certified copy of their document, I am unable to provide this and my counterpart solicitor must complete this on my behalf. This is the current position due to an outdated law from 1971, which specifies a solicitor must certify these documents. 

I am glad to see that on 19 May 2022, within the Government response on modernising the process of obtaining lasting powers of attorney, they have recognised this and will undertake independent work to address this issue, to allow Chartered Legal Executives to certify lasting powers of attorney.   

The role of a Chartered Legal Executive

Over the years, the role of a Chartered Legal Executive has come in line with solicitors, while we are able to become partners of a firm, or to open our own law firm. Yet the position may arise where a Chartered Legal Executive runs their own firm and needs to ask a newly qualified solicitor to certify their client’s lasting power of attorney for them! 

The role of a Chartered Legal Executive still seems unknown to many and I write to bring awareness to the role and qualification. 

Understating the qualifications

For both roles, relevant qualifications are completed whether it be the LPC for a solicitor, or the CILEX exams for a Chartered Legal Executive. 

To become a solicitor, a 2 year training contract is then completed, or for a Chartered Legal Executive, 3 years qualifying employment is required. Both solicitors and Chartered Legal Executives can complete the same role within a law firm, following qualification. 

It is good to see the recognition being provided to Chartered Legal Executives and hopefully I can soon be less of a nuisance to my solicitor colleagues and certify my own lasting powers of attorney.  

If I can be of any assistance with advice on lasting powers of attorney, wills or probate, please do not hesitate to contact me on 01268 824927 or emma.greenland@birkettlong.co.uk. 

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