Our fourth full Board meeting of the year took place online on 28 September. We had a lot to discuss, and here are a few highlights:
• Future Strategy: we reviewed the work underway to improve standards and agreed priorities for next year. These include making it easier for Fellows and others to set up their own law firm. Our latest research shows 9 out of 10 support the idea of “Law Firm in a Box”. We also agreed a review of the operation of activity-based regulation at CRL, as well as to work on a handbook to go alongside the existing Code of Conduct to make it easier for individuals and firms to understand the expectations on them.
• Qualifying Employment Review: we reviewed the results of the recent consultation on revising the definition of qualifying employment to make the rules simpler and more straightforward. The responses were positive to the changes we proposed and we therefore agreed an application to the LSB to change the rules. We believe the changes will help those working part-time who are predominantly women.
• Higher Rights of Audience: CILEX members who currently hold rights of audience are only able to practise in the lower courts. Following an informal consultation with the regulated community – which was universally positive- we decided to launch a formal consultation on giving CRL powers to authorise suitably competent CILEX Practitioners the rights to conduct advocacy in all courts(Higher Rights of Audience). This consultation will close in early January so give us your views.
• Performance Review: we had our normal review of performance. We welcomed the LSB’s decision in August that CRL continued to meet all the required standards and outcomes in its regulatory performance assessment. We were also particularly pleased to see a 75% improvement in the figures for CPD non-compliance this year compared with 2021.
Our next planned Board catch-up is on 19 October 2022 with our next full meeting on 17 November 2022.