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.
The Professional Paralegal Register have taken the advice of the UK Government and have implemented the necessary precautions to ensure the safety and well being of our staff, members and attendees to our events.
If you are planning on sending anything by post, we will probably get it late or not at all, so our advice is to send anything you need to via email at [email protected]
The team may be working remotely for the time being but our commitment to serving both our members, recognised bodies and consumers with their enquiries remains.
The PPR also made the decision to postpone the National Paralegal Awards 2020 Gala Final until the 18 September 2020. The timings and venue will remain the same. To read the announcement sent to our finalists, judges and sponsors please visit this article National Paralegal Awards Gala Postponed on the National Paralegal Awards website.
In addition, due to the uncertainty of what we can expect over the coming months the Paralegal Conference will also be postponed until 2021.
We’ll continue to update you as our plans evolve. We urge you all to look after yourselves, your families, colleagues and friends in what we know, is an unsettling time.
The Professional Paralegal Register have announced the finalists from 16 individual and business categories that have been shortlisted for the 2020 National Paralegal Awards.
These professional legal awards, now in their second year are the only awards dedicated to rewarding and recognising the outstanding work of Paralegals and law firms that support the development of the paralegal profession.
The winners will be announced at a gala black tie ceremony at the Grand Connaught Rooms in the West End on Friday 27 March 2020.
The independent judging panel which was comprised of 17 legal and business professionals was overseen by Head Judge Amir Ali, Chairman of the CCUA.
Amir Ali said:
“I and the judging panel were very impressed by the high standard of entries shortlisted. There are many very talented paralegals and firms dedicated to supporting the development of the profession – judging the entries was no easy feat!”
Amir continued to say “Paralegals are the backbone of the Legal Sector, often at the coalface who receive little or no recognition for the vital role they perform within the industry, and professional awards such as these are a fantastic opportunity to congratulate all finalists on their achievements and successes”.
Managing Director of the Professional Paralegal Register, Rita Leat said:
“Congratulations to all those who have been shortlisted for the National Paralegal Awards. Yet again, the number of high quality entries we received represents the breadth and range of paralegal activity and excellent work undertaken in the UK. Thank you to our judges for their work and we look forward to meeting the finalists and our sponsors at our awards gala.”
This year’s headline sponsor is Fraser and Fraser and categories were sponsored by a variety of businesses who work with the legal sector, and legal membership organisations including The Institute of Paralegals, The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, The Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys and The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys.
This years shortlisted finalists can be found at National Paralegal Awards 2020 Finalists.
NOTES TO EDITOR
- The organisers of the National Paralegal Awards are The Professional Paralegal Register (PPR), a voluntary registered scheme to promote professional paralegals as a recognised fourth arm of the legal profession and to enhance consumer choice and protection. Only Paralegals that are on this register are regulated by us.
- The National Paralegal Awards are open to any paralegals working within the United Kingdom and they do not need to be registered with the PPR, hold a Paralegal Practising Certificate or be a member of a membership organisation.
- The National Paralegal Awards event is being held on Friday 27 March 2020. For more information about the event, please contact Abby at [email protected]
Join the conversation about the awards on Twitter using #PPRNPAAWARDS #PPRPARALEGALAWARDS
LegalEx makes its much-anticipated return to ExCeL London on the 18th & 19th March 2020, hosting the most comprehensive and all-encompassing event dedicated to facilitating business growth and professional development for legal professionals and firms.
Your FREE ticket will give you access to 150 cutting-edge exhibitors and over 100 CPD accredited educational seminars from some of the world’s top legal experts, innovators and most forward-thinking speakers.
The two-day event is a great opportunity to get the very latest on strategies, practices and technology solutions for the legal sector with content tracks covering Marketing, Business Development, Legal Tech, Client Retention & Satisfaction, Conveyancing and Regulation & Legal Skills.
All under one roof, you’ll be able to explore the latest tools, products, services, resources and innovations that are transforming the legal industry. LegalEx is the leading industry event for ambitious and successful legal firms looking to modernise their practices.
So, what are you waiting for? Register for your FREE ticket now via legalex.co.uk.
After receiving feedback, for those of you who would like to enter but have commitments ahead of the Christmas break, the decision has been made to extend the final deadline for entries to Friday 3rd January 2020 at 5pm.
There will be no further extensions after this date.
Winning or being a finalist of an award is a great way to progress your career or to develop your business. It brings great recognition for your expertise, hard work and commitment to the paralegal profession!
How to enter?
Entry is open now, online and free. You do not need to be nominated.
In this article Amanda Lee, Chair of the RRC explains what is the purpose of the committee, how it handles complaints and how you can get involved.
What is the Register Regulatory Committee?
The Register Regulatory Committee (RRC) is responsible for managing the Professional Paralegal Register (PPR) and providing strategic and operational advice on issues that affect the PPR. To fulfil this role it considers advice received from the PPR’s independent Advisory Board.
Led by Chair Amanda Lee, the RRC is composed of six members with professional experience in a broad range of different disciplines. Members of the RRC are committed to ensuring that members of the PPR uphold the highest standards of professional service and support the PPR’s goals of raising the profile of professional paralegals and protecting consumers.
What does it do?
The RRC plays a vital role in supporting the PPR’s mission of providing its members and the public with the ability to make informed choices when choosing a legal representative. If a complaint is made about a registered or regulated paralegal then the RRC is responsible for considering that complaint and taking whatever action is necessary.
The RRC acts in accordance with clear rules and procedures in order to ensure that complaints are considered fairly and in a timely fashion. It therefore helps the PPR to ensure that paralegal work is of the highest standard by providing consumers with a remedy if they have any complaints about the work undertaken by a PPR member.
How does the RRC handle complaints?
The RRC’s powers differ depending on whether the complaint made relates to a regulated or registered paralegal. It may dismiss complaints or impose some sort of sanction if it is determined that a complaint should be upheld, such as requiring a paralegal to pay compensation or suspending their PPR membership. These broad powers help it to protect the public and to ensure that the standard of service provided by paralegals that are voluntarily regulated by the PPR is reflective of the high standards of service that PPR members strive to provide to their clients.
The RRC has the power to appoint independent bodies to investigate complaints. If the value of the compensation sought by the complaining party is £500 or less then the RRC will appoint a Complaints Committee to consider the allegations made and determine whether any sanctions should be applied to the paralegal involved. If the value of the compensation sought exceeds £500 then the RRC will appoint an independent Adjudication and Appeals Panel. This panel has broader powers and the ability to impose a penalty of up to £5,000.
How can I get involved?
If you are interested in supporting the important work of the RRC then please consider applying to join the committee. The RRC meets a minimum of twice per year. The deadline to apply is 20 December 2019. For further information see the advertisement here.
During her travels around the country our MD, Rita Leat meets some very interesting people and this ‘Life in the day of’ blog is our way of sharing our networking with our members. First in this series is an article from Dave Clark, who shares with us his day as a PI.
A Day in the life of a PI
Up and about early today, need to be in the office by 6am, we have a busy day ahead.
First order of business is to get the staff organised and on the road. John will be in at 8am, he has several Winding up Petitions, and Statutory Demands, all Limited Companies, to be served. These almost invariably are served in office hours and within forty eight hours of receipt by us.
Terry is working later, he has various Process serves as well, but these are individuals, usually easier to find in the early evenings and weekends.
Once their papers and routes are ready, I can turn to the e-mails, hard to believe this many arrived whilst I slept! Some are update requests on work in hand, quotes for new work, tracing instructions, and general enquiries from the mundane to the bizarre.
The overnight ones tend to be private clients and overseas. During the day I will get the professional clients, other Agents, Solicitors and Paralegals, all of whom understand the demands on us and are usually better organised and don’t suffer from over expectation!
Now I can organise my day, although organise is a fluid term.
I check the electronic trackers on the web platform, see if our targets have been busy, and how much battery life we have left. One is quite low, (note to self ), out at 3am to change the battery pack. I collect the process serves I have to fit in en route today, and head out to my morning networking meeting, praying for a decent breakfast. I know the phone will start around 8am must remember to put it on silent.
Networking over, couple of interesting contacts, now to the day proper.
We have a request for a surveillance this evening, cheating husband apparently, where does he get the time? Bearing in mind I am now out very early to change the tracker batteries, I ring round to find who wants the job, as always John is keen, and my preferred option as we were both Special Branch trained.
Always a minefield these jobs. Private clients want you to peer through windows and get “in flagrante” photos, completely outside of RIPA. At least our professional contacts, especially our PPR Paralegals talk the matter through and understand the legislative constraints.
Try explaining RIPA, HRA or even PACE to an outraged partner, never goes well.
I also have two repossessions to collect today, both cars, so off goes Chris my towing expert, armed with his paperwork and usual grumpy attitude, hey ho.
My favourite local Solicitor (because he hates going out and gets us to do most things!) has asked for a quote for attending a commercial property, changing the locks and completing an inventory, need to get that out today.
I also need to arrange a couple of test purchases this week in a bar selling unbranded booze as the real thing, list of volunteers for that is growing daily.
As always some new stuff will arrive, invariably urgent, just to ruin the day, some will be cancelled and some will go so horribly wrong you just wonder what you did to upset the big guy!
But on the upside the range of work means I am never bored, and also the range of people I meet is always interesting. If I had more space the stories I could tell!
So if you need a PI or Process Server give us a call at Adams for help anywhere in the country on 020 3745 5711, or speak to Dave direct on 07787 555 932.
We are looking for board members to join our Register Regulatory Committee (RRC), which is a committee that manages the Professional Paralegal Register (PPR).
It, with advice from the independent Advisory Board, decides on the strategies and operational issues of the PPR.
Applicants must be able to operate at a strategic level and be committed to the goals and values of the PPR in raising the standard and profile of professional Paralegals and in consumer protection.
Ideally applicants will have previous committee experience, whether at a professional organisation or in their firm/organisation.
An understanding or experience of compliance, regulatory, dispute resolution, consumer protection or complaints handling is advantageous.
You must be a good communicator.
Applicants must be ready and able to contribute to the work of the PPR RRC and to actively participate in committee meetings.
These positions will require a commitment to attend a minimum of 2 meetings per year. The meetings are normally in London or via a conference call between 11-2pm on a weekday.
In addition, members will be required to undertake tasks such as reviewing drafts of updated policies and providing comments on the same and considering complaints raised.
These are non-remunerated positions.
Closing Date for applications: 20 December 2019
Interviews will be held early January 2020
To express an interest in the role or to find out more please email [email protected] or call 01442 508 206.
About the PPR
The Professional Paralegal Register is the overarching voluntary regulator for professional Paralegals and exists as a not-for-profit organisation. The PPR has been 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.
We have recognised the need for Paralegals to be regulated for two reasons:
- To provide greater consumer choice and protection
- To professionalise Paralegals and recognise them 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 regulatory framework of the PPR is designed to be proportionate to match the perceived or real risk attached to different areas of work that Paralegals do.
The PPR defines Paralegals into four tiers so that for the first time in England and Wales, Paralegals can be clearly identified and valued for the professionals that they are.