Chair's Board Update May 2024

Our first full Board meeting of the year took place on 22 February 2024. Discussions included our 2024 Corporate Plan and our three year strategy (2025-2027).

Our second full Board meeting of the year and annual Strategy discussion took place face to face on 16/17 May 2024. We welcomed our continued strong operational performance, robust financial position, and began planning for our next three-year cycle. Here are a few of the highlights. Full minutes will be published on our website in the usual way.

  • Strategy 2025-7: we had our first discussion on the development of our new Strategy, considering our purpose and strategic priorities. We agreed on the importance of maintaining public trust in the high standards we set, encouraging innovation, promoting equality diversity and inclusion and building a capable independent organisation. We were very keen that any new strategy builds on the input of the CILEX regulated community and others with an interest. Therefore, our next stage will be to hold a series of stakeholder workshops and webinars over the summer, prior to publication of the Strategy in the late autumn.
  • Future Regulatory Arrangements: The Board discussed the latest position. We noted the “serious concerns” raised by the Justice Select Committee about CILEX’s proposals, and the recent very negative response by the Law Society to the SRA’s proposals on regulation of paralegals, mirroring our own comments. We continue to take the view that redelegation on the lines proposed, is neither lawful nor in the public interest and will continue strongly to oppose it.
  • Finance: we signed off the audited end-year results for 2023 and were pleased to learn both that we had a “clean” audit and a reasonable operational surplus. The full audited accounts will be published in the coming weeks. We also had an initial debate on the level of the Practising Certificate Fee for next year. We will as usual formally consult on this in July.
  • Artificial Intelligence and Innovation: we had a very full and interesting debate on Artificial Intelligence and its implications for us as regulator, for those we regulate and for consumers. We also considered the recent LSB guidance on promoting technology and innovation. We agreed a series of actions which we will roll out over the coming months.
  • Performance: we reviewed our operational performance for last year and were pleased with the good progress made. In particular, we examined closely the findings of the 2022/2023 CPD sampling exercise. Uniquely among legal regulators, we sampled nearly 5% of CPD records to help maintain standards, and support practitioners. We will publish these findings shortly.
  • People: I am delighted to announce that we have decided to confirm John Barwick as our permanent CEO following a very successful 6 months as Interim CEO. The Board also extended until September 2027 my appointment as Chair, and the appointments of Douglas Blackstock (lay) and Helen Astle (professional) as Board members.

Our next planned Board catch-up is on 6 June with our next full meeting on 9 July. As always if you would like to know more, please look at our website, read our Board papers or get in touch.

Access all board meeting documents on the CRL website


See more