In the past few weeks, we’ve had lots of members contacting us, either because of furlough or lacking the usual routine distractions, to talk about their next steps and what could be possible for the next stage of their career.
We spoke to Giles Probert, Entity Authorisation Officer and Danielle Ingle, Practitioner Team Leader, about the types of queries we have been receiving at CILEx Regulation. We also asked them about the benefits of taking that leap to apply for independent practice rights or set up your own law firm.
Many people are looking for a new way of working following their experiences during lockdown. Some are concerned about potentially returning to a large office or facing a long daily commute. Others are just looking for greater recognition for the work that they do, or to have greater control over the hours they work and the types of matters they engage in.
Since the Government restrictions were imposed in March 2020, we’ve seen a considerable increase in people looking to find out more about how to they can gain independent practice rights and possibly use these to become their own boss.
Gaining an independent practice right means you can carry out work in a reserved activity without supervision. That can allow you to progress within a firm or open up further career opportunities. Being able to actively supervise colleagues’ work, can mean that more senior roles are then a possibility. If you want to become your own boss now or in the future, then for many, independent practice rights will be a necessary first step.
Some legal work can only be undertaken by, or under the supervision of, an authorised person (these are known as `reserved activities’, as defined in the Legal Services Act 2007).
We are hearing that for those who’ve been able to work remotely, many have appreciated an improved work/life balance with greater flexibility on when they work. They are concerned that this may be lost as they return to more familiar ways of working including often long rush hour commutes.
Giles added; “People I’ve spoken to have said they don’t want to lose this flexibility. Home working has often seen workloads grow, and they are now seeking ways in which they have more say over the volumes of work they take on. This has motivated many to think about setting up their own firms”.
There is no requirement for applicants to be actively working when applying for independent practice rights. However, you will need to have access to a caseload, to evidence certain parts of the applications. This means that people who currently find themselves on furlough or worried about their future career prospects, can use this time for career development. So if you are thinking about running your own firm and would like to find out more, then why not give us a call.
We would encourage anyone who is interested in applying for authorisation, either as an individual or firm, to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance and we can then arrange a call. Our staff are all working remotely now dealing with online applications and answering questions whilst the office is currently closed.
Planning ahead and having a clear, positive goals certainly seems to be helping from the feedback we are currently receiving from applicants.
We look forward to speaking to anyone who is looking to further their career and professional development.