The Costs Lawyer qualification has been recognised by the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) as providing exemptions from its route to qualifying as a chartered legal executives/CILEx Fellow.
Certain Costs Lawyers who took the ACLT course since 2008 can automatically become Graduate members of CILEx – meaning they can leapfrog much of the academic stage of qualification to become a Fellow – and Kirsty Allison (pictured), head of education at ACLT, said the first application for exemption has already been lodged.
Costs Lawyers eligible for the exemptions who want to cross-qualify may still need to undertake one or two further exams, and all would still need to have three years of qualifying employment before becoming a CILEx Fellow.
Costs Lawyers would need to submit a portfolio of evidence demonstrating eight competencies against a range of learning outcomes based on their three years’ work experience, with at least one year having been achieved once they have become a Graduate member. Experience in costs counts, meaning that Costs Lawyers could become chartered legal executives a year after joining CILEx.
Independent rights to conduct reserved legal activities – including litigation and advocacy – do not come with becoming a chartered legal executive. There are more courses and applications required for these, but Ms Allison said that dual regulation would be possible “and there are, in fact, a number of Costs Lawyers that are currently dual regulated”.
“Moreover, even if Costs Lawyers decide to undertake the further assessments and become CILEx Fellows with the same practising rights as they currently benefit from, they may still remain members of the ACL.
“CILEx Fellows can be Associate members of the ACL, which would enable them to keep in the loop with the costs community and enjoy the benefits that being a member of a specialised representative body brings.”
CILEx Regulation – the independent regulatory arm of the institute – regulates entities too and Ms Allison highlighted that Costs Lawyers could start up an entity regulated by CILEx Regulation without cross-qualifying. This is because any “authorised person” as defined by the Legal Services Act 2007, which includes Costs Lawyers, can apply to set up an entity overseen by CILEx Regulation.
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