What Are Chartered Legal Executives

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What Are Chartered Legal Executives?

A Legal Executive, formally known as a Chartered Legal Executive, is a type of qualified Lawyer who has trained and specialised in one specific area of law such as litigation or conveyancing. They can be found working in law firms, in-house legal teams, and public sector bodies. They will have their own clients (with full conduct of cases) and can undertake representation in court where appropriate. Due to changes in legislation, they can now become Judges, Coroners, Advocates and Partners in law firms.

Key responsibilities of a Chartered Legal Executive

Although day to day tasks vary by sector and employer, the typical duties of a Legal Executive may include:

  • Providing legal advice to clients; corresponding with them and explaining complex legal matters.
  • Liaising with fellow professionals on behalf of clients.
  • Researching information and preparing legal documents.
  • Attending court to assist with the presentation of cases.
  • Conducting advocacy in High Court and County Court.
  • Acting as a commissioner for oaths for swearing of legal documents
  • Keeping up to date with changing legislation.
  • Preparing the accounts of a legal practice.

Main differences between a Chartered Legal Executive and a Solicitor

The main difference between solicitors and legal executives is that the training of legal executives is narrower. Legal executives have studied to the same level as a solicitor, but they have specialised in a particular area of law and completed fewer subjects overall.

Solicitors are legal professionals who advise and support their clients on a range of contentious and non-contentious cases. They are knowledgeable about a range of different areas of law, such as finance, tax, and property. Chartered legal executives, on the other hand, carry out many of the same tasks and responsibilities as solicitors (although they often do so under the supervision of a principal).


According to a recently published report, Legal Executives earn an average salary of £55,139 per year. The average starting salary for an entry level Legal Executive ranges from £15,000 to £28,000 per annum. A fully qualified Legal Executive can expect to earn around £30,000 - £50,000, whilst senior Legal Executives can earn over £55,000. This can vary based on location, with practitioners in London typically earning more.

While salaries vary across firms, generally, solicitors may earn more than chartered legal executives. However, the fact that the chartered legal executive route is so much cheaper is a huge draw to those who want to avoid student debt.

How To Qualify

CILEX (Chartered Institute of Legal Executives) offers another route into the legal profession for those interested in qualifying in law. The CPQ is a progressive training programme which enables candidates to achieve qualification as a CILEX Paralegal, a CILEX Advanced Paralegal or a CILEX Lawyer.

The first stage of this qualification is the CPQ Foundation, a 12–18-month course mandatory for those that have either finished secondary school or is a non-law graduate. Completing this course will allow them to qualify as a CILEX Paralegal.

The second stage is the CPQ Advanced, a 12-18month course which results to qualification as a CILEX Advanced Paralegal, is a requirement for Law Graduates and CILLEX Paralegals looking to become a Chartered Legal Executive.

The final stage is the CPQ Professional which is approximately 12months and is required for LPC students, CILEX Advanced professionals and equivalent. Upon completing, you will be qualified as a Chartered Legal Executive.

Despite the CPQ as a while taking 6 years, it is a lot cheaper than the LPC, and does not require a firm to give you a TC to qualify in the end, therefore is similar with the flexibility that is now offered with the SQE course. It is a lot cheaper than the LPC, therefore firms will be more willing to fund the CPQ for students.

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