ILEX Professional Standards (IPS) said it has received nearly 50 expressions of interest from prospective businesses to be run by members of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives since allowing applications earlier this month (5 January).
The changes mean that it is the first time chartered legal executives have been able to establish their own regulated businesses.
IPS said “several” enquiries had also been made by existing regulated legal firms as to whether they could switch to be regulated by it. These include multi-partner firms, it added, pointing out that it was not essential for the business to be owned and managed by CILEx members.
Alan Kershaw, chair of IPS, said: “This presents a great opportunity for many new and existing firms, who have a real choice of regulator for the first time. We are very clear about what that choice means. It does not mean a chance to escape scrutiny, or a decline in regulatory standards – it means a regulatory model that is best for your business, giving consumers the protection they need when seeking legal services.
“It also means that, if they want it, students starting out on the CILEx route are not limited in their career destinations, and can go on to be authorised to provide reserved legal services in one or more branches of the law either running their own practice, or as an employed lawyer.”