Anyone offering legal services outside of solicitors firms in the unregulated market are paralegals.
The PPR for the first time has clearly categorised paralegals into four tiers to make it easy for you to find a suitably qualified paralegal.
If you use Paralegals on a self-employed or freelance basis, they will be regulated by the PPR.

A Tier 1 Paralegal

Typically you will be a trainee Paralegal who is studying to achieve a level 3 qualification (equivalent to A Level) and has no or very little work experience.
A Tier 1 may be engaged in legal secretarial work; legal administration or general legal office assistance.

A Tier 2 Paralegal

You will be a Paralegal who has either obtained a level 3 qualification and/or has a minimum of two years ‘qualifying’ experience.
A Paralegal in Tier 2 may have many years of experience in a particular area of practice.
Tier 2 Paralegals may also be law graduates that have no or very little relevant work experience. 
A Tier 2 Paralegal may be offering services to the general public (subject to obtaining a Paralegal Practising Certificate); assist in many legal matters; prepare cases and assist litigants in person amongst many other things.
Your area of knowledge, experience and expertise will determine the nature of the service or services that you may offer under a Paralegal Practising Certificate.

A Tier 3 Paralegal

You are a Paralegal that has gained a minimum of a Level 6 qualification (Degree Level) AND has a minimum of 2 years qualifying experience.
Typically a Tier 3 Paralegal is a graduate in law or has an equivalent qualification in the area of law in which they practice.
A Tier 3 will typically be fee earners as Paralegals and can carry out complex legal matters.
Your area of knowledge, experience and expertise will determine the nature of the service or services that you may offer under a Paralegal Practising Certificate.

A Tier 4 Paralegal

Typically a Tier 4 Paralegal will have a Level 6 or above qualification, a minimum of 4 years qualifying experience and have undertaken Paralegal Practice Skills.
Your area of knowledge, experience and expertise will determine the nature of the service or services that you may offer under a Paralegal Practising Certificate.

So what is a Professional Paralegal Practitioner?

A Professional Paralegal Practitioner is a Paralegal at Tier 2 or above who is holding a Paralegal Practising Certificate (PPC).
The PPC will specify the area of law that they can practice.
Paralegals can be self-employed; offer freelance work or be employed providing you with a flexible work force.
Only Paralegals on the PPR register are regulated by us.

The areas of law that PPR members most often specialise in are as follows:

  • Civil Matters: Debt Recovery; Housing; Personal Injury
  • Consumer Law
  • Criminal litigation
  • Matrimonial Law
  • Conveyancing
  • Public law work – Local Authority; in Government; Welfare benefits; or Immigration
  • Probate and Wills
  • Commercial: Intellectual Property; Commercial Contracts
  • Legal Practice Management