CILEx inaugarates local government lawyer as president

The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) has appointed David Edwards FCILEx as its 52nd President in a ceremony last Friday at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire.

David Edwards is the principal Chartered Legal Executive for St Albans City & District Council. His role as CILEx President will run to July next year. CILEx represents 20,000 members, of which 7,500 are Chartered Legal Executive lawyers.

Chartered Legal Executives gained the right earlier this year to set up their own law firms to deliver reserved legal activities and Edwards said that he hoped the government would further recognise the role played by legal executives in providing access to justice.

He said: “The trumpets have sounded and the walls of Jericho in the legal profession have fallen. We have our own practice rights and can regulate our own practices. With an increasingly specialised legal sector we will undoubtedly be a significant part of the future of the profession. We are not the fat-cats, we are the foot soldiers.”

“It is refreshing to hear Michael Gove speak candidly about the difficulties faced by those less well-off who try to navigate our justice system. I will be seizing on the glimmer of hope that this gives us, and I am determined to work with him to make a better justice system. I hope to hear something similar from the business secretary Sajid Javid; because access to justice is reliant on access to education. The paralegals, the lawyers, the advocates and judges of the future all require legal education, of which vocational learning is a necessary part of the mix.”

“Indeed it is now all the more important – following the ending of student maintenance grants in Wednesday’s Budget, the poorest young people thinking about university study will have to borrow twice as much now to cover both fees and maintenance. This will place a further debt burden on the poorest students, and only makes the CILEx route into law – the affordable route, the accessible route – more necessary than ever.”

David Edwards has worked for St Albans City and District Council in Hertfordshire for 28 years and is currently Principal Chartered Legal Executive. He obtained his Fellowship of CILEx in 1983 whilst at the London Borough of Barnet and He gained CILEx’s Diploma in Planning Law in 1986.

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