Practice rights

Practice rights relate to 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 used 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 and probate practice  You can follow a training route to achieve practice rights in these areas without necessarily becoming a Chartered Legal Executive first. CILEx can also confer immigration,  litigation and advocacy practice rights on Chartered Legal Executives who undertake additional training.

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. This is one of two areas (the other is Probate) where CILEx can confer practice rights to those who are not already Chartered Legal Executives.

This means that you can choose between two training routes:

1. acquire CILEx conveyancing practice rights
OR
2. become a Chartered Legal Executive, followed by a top-up to acquire conveyancing practice rights.  

Requirements

The requirements below illustrate how to acquire practice rights without also becoming a Chartered Legal Executive. Scroll down the page to see how you can acquire these rights by topping up the Chartered Legal Executive qualification.

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, or by demonstrating equivalent training

3. skills in conveyancing– you need to demonstrate a specific set of skills needed in the conveyancing process through submitting a portfolio of evidence. These are Interviewing, Advising & communicating, Costs & Funding, Professional Conduct & Ethics, Managing Conveyancing Work, Legal Writing & Drafting and Negotiation 

4.experience in conveyancing – at least five years’ experience are required, two of which must occur immediately preceding your application. In order to demonstrate the required level of experience you need to submit a portfolio of three cases, which must cover a range of matters and demonstrate the breadth of your experience in conveyancing practice.   

Although in theory you could study for Conveyancing Practice Rights without first studying at Level 3, we would strongly recommend that you should study for a CILEx Level 3 Certificate in Law and Practice (Conveyancing) before embarking on Level 6 study. 

Here it is in a graphical format: 

Title upon qualification

CILEx Conveyancing Practitioner. 

Rights acquired

You will be able to sign the following documents in your own right: 

  • 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. This is one of two areas (the other is Conveyancing) where CILEx can confer practice rights to those who are not already Chartered Legal Executives.

This means that you can choose between two training routes:

1. acquire CILEx probate practice rights
OR
2. become a Chartered Legal Executive, with a top-up to acquire probate practice rights.  

Requirements 

The requirements below illustrate how to acquire practice rights without also becoming a Chartered Legal Executive. Scroll down the page to see how you can acquire these rights by topping up the Chartered Legal Executive qualification.

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, or by demonstrating equivalent training 

3. skills in probate– you need to demonstrate skills in Drafting and Managing Probate Activities.  This is done by creating a providing a logbook and portfolio of evidence which demonstrates how you meet the outcomes 

4.experience in probate, wills and estate administration – at least five years’ experience are required, two of which must occur immediately preceding your application. In order to demonstrate the required level of experience you need to submit a portfolio of three cases, which must cover a range of matters and demonstrate the breadth of your experience in probate practice.   

Although in theory you could study for Probate Practice Rights without first studying at Level 3, we would strongly recommend that you should study for a CILEx Level 3 Certificate in Law and Practice (Probate) before embarking on Level 6 study. 

Here it is in a graphical format: 

Title upon qualification

CILEx Probate Practitioner. 

Rights acquired

You will be able to prepare and sign 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.

Gaining conveyancing or probate practice rights on top of the Chartered Legal Executive training route

Although you do not need to become a Chartered Legal Executive first in order to acquire Conveyancing or Probate Practice Rights, there are advantages in doing so:

The Chartered Legal Executive route enables you to become a qualified lawyer through gaining Fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx)The route to qualification requires a broader course of study than the Conveyancing or Probate Practice rights qualification in that you study three Level 6 law units rather than just one, so you gain a much fuller breadth of legal knowledgeYou can still choose to specialise in Conveyancing or Probate as you go through your Chartered Legal Executive qualification through your unit selections at both Level 3 and Level 6.  

Becoming a full Chartered Legal Executive has the advantages of enabling you to retrain without losing your status as a qualified lawyer should you wish to change your practice area, or 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. 

You will also have the option to acquire Conveyancing or Probate Practice Rights, either at a later date or concurrently, using experience from your period of qualifying employment. You should note, however, that the Work Based Learning portfolio to become a Chartered Legal Executive and the portfolio required for Practice Rights are two separate applications. The outcomes focus on separate things and are worded differently and the submissions need to reflect that. 

The other point to note is that for both schemes the evidence must not be older than two years at the point of submission.  

If you are interested in acquiring Conveyancing Practice Rights in due course, be sure to select Land Law and Conveyancing as part of your CILEx Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law and Practice. If you are interested in acquiring Probate Practice Rights, select Law of Wills and Succession and Probate Practice. Your Client Care Skills and Legal Research Skills units will also count.

The table below shows the route to qualifying as a Chartered Legal Executive with Conveyancing as a specialism and then going on to acquire Conveyancing Practice Rights.
The table below shows the route to qualifying as a Chartered Legal Executive with Probate as a specialism and then going on to acquire Probate Practice Rights.

What are the benefits of practice rights?

Acquiring practice rights is another way of demonstrating your knowledge and expertise in your chosen field, and means that you: 

  • have increased status within your work environment 
  • do not need to rely on the availability of others to progress your work. 

It is, however, the case that if you are employed within a regulated law firm, it makes little practical difference to have these rights in conveyancing or probate practice, as you will be working under supervision. They are most relevant if you are interested in setting up your own legal entity.