SRA response

Consultation on removing the seven year rule for exemptions from CILEx qualifications

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is the independent regulator of solicitors and law firms in England and Wales. We regulate individual solicitors, certain other lawyers and non lawyers with whom they practise, solicitors' firms and their staff.

We are writing in response to the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) consultation on removing the seven year rule for exemptions from CILEx qualifications.

We agree with CILEx's proposal. It is consistent with our own approach in which we have removed a number of time limits from our own pathways leading to qualification as a solicitor, including the time limit for the currency of the Qualifying Law Degree, and for completing the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme.

We agree that time limits such as these create an artificial and arbitrary barrier and that other provisions, such as Work-based Learning and annual CPD requirements, are better mechanisms to ensure that applicants’ knowledge and skills are up to date.

We also agree that removing the time limit and accepting all legal qualifications, regardless of when they were completed, supports the flexibility and accessibility of the CILEx route to qualification and therefore should promote access.

We are not aware of any adverse equality considerations that might arise from this proposed change.