The very best of the paralegal profession was celebrated at the annual National Paralegal Awards hosted live by the Professional Paralegal Register on Friday night. The awards ceremony, which is now in its second year, is now one of the showpiece events in the legal sector calendar, highlighting the important role paralegals play within the legal profession.
The paralegal community from across the country came together at the event, which this year was held virtually, to mark the outstanding achievements of both paralegals and firms that support the sector.
The winners from the 17 categories were announced and a PPR Outstanding Achievement Award was presented to Sir Robin Knowles CBE for a life-long commitment to the legal profession and access to justice for every citizen.
Rita Leat, Managing Director of the PPR commented:
“We are hugely humbled by the talent shown by our finalists and winners as the paralegal profession in the UK is one to be very proud of. We are delighted with the support we received with over 500 people tuning in to watch the event “.
The award winners in full:
Best Family Law Paralegal – Dawn Gore – Trethowans LLP
Best Employment / HR Paralegal – Morgan Sheldon
Best Patent Paralegal – JoAnna Emery – Pure Ideas
Best Arbitration and Mediation Paralegal – Beth Jameson – Gafta
Best Conveyancing Paralegal – Emily Miller – Thomas Legal
Best Civil Litigation Paralegal – Philip Nam – White Collar Legal
Best Probate Research Paralegal – Lauren Geary – Treethorpe
Best Trade Mark Paralegal – Rachel Bowerman – Lane IP
Best Will Writing Paralegal – Sharon Baker – Mowll & Mowll
Paralegal Business of the Year – Fraser and Fraser
Will Writing Organisation of the Year – Heritage Wills
Paralegal Recruitment Organisation of the Year – The Stephen James Partnership
Best Law Firm Paralegal Development -Dentons UK and Middle East
Paralegal of the Year – Midlands/North – Michelle Blackwell – Bevan Brittan LLP
Paralegal of the Year – South – Neil Fraser, Fraser and Fraser
Paralegal of the Year – UK – Neil Fraser, Fraser and Fraser
The judges also awarded highly commended to:
Best Arbitration and Mediation Paralegal – Clive Lewis OBE DL – Globis Mediation Group
Best Conveyancing Paralegal – Aimee Haden – Bevan Brittan LLP
Best Civil Litigation Paralegal – Helen Laycock – PM Law
Best Probate Research Paralegal – Matthew Boardman – Anglia Research Services
Best Law Firm Paralegal Development – Addleshaw Goddard
Paralegal of the Year – Midlands/North – Aimee Haden, Bevan Brittan LLP
Paralegal of the Year – South – Ashleah Skinner
Dawn Gore – Trethowans LLP
Paige Gouldthorpe – Cozens-Hardy LLP
Sharon Baker – Mowll & Mowll
To watch a playback of the virtual event visit https://youtu.be/tvGchIOFqbY
To keep updated on the work of the Professional Paralegal Register, Paralegal Conference 2021 and when we will be open for entries for the NPA 2021, please sign up to receive our emails.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0203 039 3710 or [email protected]
The Professional Paralegal Register (PPR) is counting down to the National Paralegal Awards taking place on Friday 18 September. The PPR normally welcomes over 270 guests at a venue in central London in March for its annual ceremony but this year was forced to postpone it because of the coronavirus outbreak. A decision was taken by the team at PPR to run the event virtually to reveal the many talented winners across multiple categories.
With over 400 expected to attend, this year’s finalists, along with their colleagues, friends, and family will now be tuning in from offices and homes around the UK to enjoy the free-to-watch-virtual ceremony, when the winners will be revealed for categories:
- Best Conveyancing Paralegal
- Best Trade Mark Paralegal
- Best Patent Paralegal
- Best Arbitration/Mediation Paralegal
- Best Employment/HR Paralegal
- Best Probate Research Paralegal
- Best Will Writing Paralegal
- Best Family Law Paralegal
- Best Civil Litigation Paralegal
- Paralegal Business of the Year
- Will Writing Organisation of the Year
- Best Law Firm – Paralegal Development
- Paralegal Recruitment Organisation of the Year
- Paralegal of the Year (Midlands/North)
- Paralegal of the Year (South)
- Paralegal of the Year
- PPR Outstanding Achievement Award
This year’s headline sponsor is international genealogists and probate researchers, Fraser and Fraser, who were awarded ‘Paralegal Business of the Year 2019’.
Rita Leat, Managing Director of the PPR commented:
“While the ceremony will be different from usual, we are embracing the spirit of change and relishing the opportunity to shine a positive spotlight on the paralegal community at this difficult time. I very much hope people will enjoy tuning into the programme we have planned on the night”
The live event will take place from 7pm with the opportunity for finalists, sponsors, judges, and their guests to network via a chat facility from 6:30pm. We wish good luck to all the finalists that have made this year’s shortlist and look forward to welcoming you to a night of celebration”.
For the second year, the events charity partner will support Young Citizens, who work to help young people become active, engaged and motivated citizens, who are able to contribute positively to their communities.
A recording of the live event will be made available on the National Paralegal Awards website for public viewing in the coming weeks.
For further information including our finalists, sponsors and judges visit www.nationalparalegalawards.com
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For further comment, please contact:
Rita Leat, Managing Director, The Professional Paralegal Register
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 0203 039 3710
The Institute of Paralegals (IoP) launch new charter to improve diversity and inclusion for the paralegal profession.
The Institute of Paralegals has released a new strategy for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the legal profession.
The charter outlines why change is needed and the approach that needs to be taken by the Institute, its members and partners, to ensure that individuals from all backgrounds are not only recruited into the sector but retained and progressed too.
The Paralegal sector is the most diverse sector providing legal services and the IoP is proud to support the development of paralegals to improve diversity of opportunity to enter the legal services market.
A new Diversity and Inclusion panel is being formed by the IoP. It will advise, evaluate and monitor progress on this agenda.
For more information and to sign the Charter please click here
Rita Leat Chief Exec of the Institute of Paralegals commented:
“We are very proud to launch the first ever Diversity and Inclusion Charter for the paralegal profession. It is vitally important that our sector feeds into the work that is being carried out by wider legal sector, to ensure that we can learn, share and improve diversity and inclusion in all that we do. We hope that solicitors firms and other employers of paralegals embrace the charter and sign up to show commitment to diverse legal services market’”.
Professional Paralegal Register’s response to the Independent Review of Legal Services Regulation Report.
The centre for Ethics and Law, University College London, have published the final report on the review of legal services regulation, undertaken by Professor Stephen Mason. The review entitled, ‘Reforming Legal Services – Regulation Beyond The Echo Chambers’ has been welcomed by the Professional Paralegal Register (PPR).
The PPR’s Managing Director, Rita Leat agrees with Professor Mason on the need to further separate the roles of representation and regulation from organisations that purport to ‘self-regulate’, which is insult on both their members and consumers common-sense that it is not possible to regulate yourself.
Regulatory independence as offered by the PPR for all those working in the unregulated sector is readily available to those who seek to promote the professional offering of legal services.
Activity-based as opposed to title-based regulation has been championed by the PPR for many years, consumers need to know that their legal service provider is competent, not that they have gained a certain job title. The Paralegal sector is evidence to this, with the most diverse set of job titles.
The PPR rejects the protectionist attitudes of some regulators and applauds this report for putting consumers at its heart.
The PPR agree the urgent need to regulate technology in the legal services arena to enable consumers to access legal services in an affordable and transparent way.
The PPR is ready to increase its position as the regulator for current unauthorised providers and offers its services to support the regulatory framework in England and Wales. A detailed analysis is underway and a further insight to the report will be published by the PPR in due course.
The PPR looks forward to continuing to work with Professor Mason, the Legal Services Board, the Legal Ombudsman, and government to assist with the development and adoption of regulatory change that will benefit the sector and consumers.
Central Law Training is delighted to be joined by Lorraine Richardson for an online networking and CPD event for conveyancing paralegals in England and Wales.
Date: Wednesday 17 June 2020
Time: 6pm to 7:30pm
This event is free to those on the Professional Paralegal Register, members of the Institute of Paralegals and to CLT paralegal students and alumni
What we will cover
Lorraine will discuss some of the challenges facing property paralegals and support staff at this difficult time including:
- What if your client has exchanged but cannot complete due to Covid-19?
- What if the completion date is missed?
If you want Lorraine to answer a question, do send it to us in advance. You will have the chance to ask Lorraine questions during the event.
Lorraine is an experienced property solicitor and trainer who is a popular conference and CPD speaker. Lorraine is now freelance but when in practice she ran a branch office and was a partner and the COLP for her firm.
She also designs and delivers property and legal skills related courses and online materials including Conveyancing Quality Scheme training for the Law Society of England and Wales.
Lorraine has developed a skill for writing and delivering webinars and aims to produce work that is both interesting and accessible for the viewer. Lorraine is the major writer for the monthly update journal for practitioners, the ‘Practical Lawyer.’
“Guru offering practical, intelligent guide to conveyancing challenges – comprehensive, comprehensible and GAGS … highly recommended … “
James Pirrie (Director, Family Law in Partnership Ltd & former Board member Resolution)
Professional Paralegal Register appoints new board member to join the Register’s Regulatory Committee
The Professional Paralegal Register (PPR) announces that the Board has appointed a new board member Stephen Rippingale-Peters to join the Register’s Regulatory Committee (RRC).
Stephen joins the RRC with over 28 years of experience working in the legal sector and is a professional Paralegal who runs his own businesses specialising in complex investigation on a variety of subject matters both in the UK and overseas. He was the first investigator in a scheme to assist victims of fraud, being piloted by the Home Office and Police, and was engaged over an extended period in the identification of personal assets of a Director following the collapse of a major listed company. Most recently Stephen was responsible for compliance planning and strategy in his role as COFA at a Law Firm.
He is a Fellow of the Institute of Paralegals and is Registered in Tier 4 on the Professional Paralegal Register.
On his appointment Stephen said “I am delighted to have the opportunity to join the Board of the RRC and I look forward to contributing to the important work of the Board in promoting professional paralegals and building trust and consumer confidence in line with the aims of the Professional Paralegal Register”.
Amanda Lee, Chair of the RRC, commented:
“I am delighted to welcome Stephen to the RRC. His knowledge and experience will allow him to make a valuable contribution from the outset. I look forward to working with him as we continue to uphold the high standards set by the PPR to protect consumers.”
The focus of the RRC is to ensure that as the voluntary register and regulator for Paralegals the PPR operates within good practice principles, ensuring a robust framework of proportionate regulation to maintain the high standards that Paralegals must abide by. The RRC comprises of a non-executive Chair and board members who hear complaints and appeals of paralegals on the register.
Rita Leat, Managing Director +44 (0) 1442 253183
Abby Dennis, Head of Memberships & Events +44 (0) 7511 306379
Notes for Editor
The Professional Paralegal Register (PPR) was developed in direct response to the Legal Education and Training Review (LETR) that recommended a body should come forward to regulate paralegals who are working outside of the regulated sector.
The PPR is the independent voluntary register and regulator for Paralegals in England and Wales.
The PPR has two aims, to provide greater consumer choice and protection and to recognise professionals Paralegals as the fourth arm of the legal profession.
The PPR is a voluntary scheme for Paralegals who do not work in solicitors’ firms and is not governed by the legal services regulator, The Legal Services Board.
The PPR defines Paralegals into four tiers so that Paralegals can be clearly identified and valued for the professionals that they are.
Paralegals on the register must be a member of one of the PPR’s recognised bodies.
The PPR’s Register Regulatory Committee (RRC) can hear complaints relating to conduct only in respect of Registered Paralegals.
Professional Paralegal Practitioners who hold a Paralegal Practising Certificate (PPC) are fully regulated for their conduct and services and clients can utilise a compensation fund when things go wrong.
For further information visit www.ppr.org.uk
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and here at the PPR we want to share with you some tips to help you consider your wellbeing and to act if you feel you need to. The tips are provided by the NHS and although general in nature, they remind us all that we need to look after ourselves to enable us to look after others.
For alternative support with low level mental health concerns, you can call:
SANE 0300 304 7000 (4:30pm – 10:30pm) [email protected] www.sane.org.uk
Samaritans 116 123 (24 hour helpline – free to call) www.samaritans.org.uk
Anxiety UK 08444 775 774 (Monday – Friday, 9:30am – 5:30pm) www.anxietyuk.org.uk
Rethink Mental Illness 0300 5000 927 (Monday – Friday, 9:30am – 4pm) www.rethink.org
NHS 111 111 (24 hour helpline – free to call)
0800 279 6888
9am – 7:30pm Monday-Friday 10am – 4pm Weekends and Bank Holidays
In late 2019, TotallyLegal asked over 3,000 legal professionals about the details of their daily working lives for our Audience Insight Report. The responses we received included those from over 300 Paralegals who, at 9% of the total respondents, make up one of the largest groups in our audience.
We looked deeper into the data provided by our Paralegal audience to gain a greater understanding of how these professionals fared in 2019, before looking forward to the state of the profession in 2020 and beyond. With invaluable contributions from Institute of Paralegals’ CEO Rita Leat and practising Paralegal Gemma Williams, we wrote a long-read article exploring the inner workings of the role.
With a fifth of all Paralegals more than 3 years in to their current role and 32% offered a bonus on top of their basic earnings, one of our key findings concerned the growing number of apparent Career Paralegals among our audience. Taking on the fee earning work traditionally reserved for Solicitors and filling the gap left by cuts to legal aid, these professionals aren’t using the role as a stepping-stone to qualification or as a means of gaining experience but are instead choosing to carve out long-term Paralegal careers. In the article, we explore in greater detail why this is the case, before discussing with experts the impact this may have on the profession in the coming years.
Another key issue uncovered by our study is that of pay gaps – both gender and ethnic – within the Paralegal profession. Elsewhere, we look at the practice areas most in need of Paralegal talent and the locations in which Paralegals want to work, before breaking down the different benefits available to Paralegals and revealing which type of employers are most likely to offer them.
Additionally, the article provides the opportunity for practising Paralegals to benchmark their current earnings based on tenure, experience level, location, practice area and more.
If you are a Paralegal looking to discover more about the inner workings of your profession, hoping to see what the future may hold for your role or simply interested in comparing your salary with your contemporaries, TotallyLegal’s The Paralegal Profession in 2020 makes for essential reading.
It has been a very difficult time for all of us since Covid-19 came unwanted into our lives. Here at the PPR it is business as usual albeit we are working from different locations.
Our RRC Committee will function as normal and so there are no changes to the rules, procedures or policies at this time.
The most important thing is that you keep physically and mentally safe and follow the government guidelines.
Keep communicating with friends, family, clients and us by any distant medium you have available to you. If you have any concerns about your registration or Paralegal Practising Certificate then please do contact us as we are here to help.
The Institute of Paralegals, one of our Recognised Bodies has published two articles in the last few days which may be useful 5 Tips on Taking Instructions Remotely and Paralegal Business: A Guide to Business Continuity and we are reminding paralegals that they have access to LawCare should they need to talk about anything that is worrying them.
Managing Director, The PPR.