Amir Ali announced as new President of the Professional Paralegal Register

The former Chairman of the CCUA who has over three decades of experience in both Legal and Enforcement sectors, Amir Ali, has become the inaugural President of the Professional Paralegal Register (PPR), a not-for-profit organisation which provides regulation for Paralegals.

The inaugural President calls for recognition of the only organisation offering independent regulation for Paralegals who work outside of regulated entities.

He has ambitious plans for the next 12 months and is determined to see the organisation play a major role in the future of legal services regulation.

Amir Commented:

Only PPR regulated Paralegals are able to offer the protection of independent regulation making them a valuable asset for the profession and for consumers.  I want to continue the work with key stakeholders at the LSB, MoJ, CMA and the Judiciary that has already been championed by the Managing Director, Rita Leat, which will enable our members to fully utilise their skills within the legal profession.   PPR Paralegals are unique as they are not only trained and have vast amounts of experience, but they also have the added protection of being regulated.  In order to ease the burden on the court service by the rise of unrepresented parties and the significant disadvantage’s that Litigants in Person may suffer, it is vital that rights of audience are applied to our regulated Paralegals.

Amir Ali – PPR President

Rita Leat, Managing Direct and founding member of the PPR said:

Amir has spent his career working at the highest level of government and will be an asset to the PPR to help further its goals. I look forward enormously to working with him.

Amir said, “I am both honoured and touched to be appointed the inaugural President of The Professional Paralegal Register (PPR). 

The PPR represents one of the largest branches of the legal profession here in the UK.

The Register champions diversity, inclusivity and equality within the profession whilst delivering access to justice and consumer protection for all.

The PPR is the independent voluntary regulator for all paralegals.

I am looking forward to furthering the Register’s collective ambition during my tenure, including but not limited to:

  • Increasing both awareness and recognition of the role of the PPR in providing regulation for the sector, now, and in the future with the changing regulatory landscape, for the register and paralegals.
  • Developing Paralegal Rights of Audience within the profession.
  • Helping and assisting (The PPR) in promoting the Paralegal Profession to acquire Chartered Status through its Institute.

For further information, please contact:

Abby Dennis, Head of Memberships and Events @ [email protected]

Notes to editors:
  • The PPR www.ppr.org.uk is the only independent regulator of Paralegals in the UK.
  • The membership is made up of paralegals working in commerce, charities, law firms, paralegal law firms, will writing companies and may be employees, freelancers, business owners or sole traders.
  • PPR offers the opportunity of a non-graduate route to practice and has an experiential route for those who have requisite experience.
  • Those who hold a Paralegal Practising Certificate are fully regulated whilst those who are Registered only are regulated for conduct not services.
  • PPR is committed to supporting members to deliver accessible legal services to the public.

Our membership is diverse 52% of members are women.  The President is available for interviews.  Please contact Abby Dennis in the first instance on [email protected]

National Paralegal Awards 2020 Ceremony Goes Virtual

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 

PI insurance

As you are aware, the PPR spent many months working with Insync to secure an appropriately worded cover for Paralegals at a reasonable cost.

The uptake by our members to use this scheme has been lower than anticipated and therefore you may have received an automated e mail from Insync about your renewal.

Please be aware that Insync are brokers that work on our behalf and therefore can still assist you.

For any further assistance please contact Callum Goulding, Senior Developer at Insync, at [email protected] and he will be delighted to assist you

Review of Legal Services Regulation - Thoughts for the unregulated

In May, this year the Ministry of Justice confirmed that it was not intending to change the structure of legal services regulation. Justice minister Alex Chalk MP said in a parliamentary paper there were ‘no plans’ to review the framework which is built around the Legal Services Act 2007. This statement was made in spite of the fact that Professor Stephen Mason, UCL, had yet to publish the final report on The Independent Review of Legal Services Regulation. After almost two years of research, three working papers and numerous consultations, it would appear that the MoJ had jumped the gun. Indeed, the interim report, published in September last year, indicated quite strongly that the regulatory landscape was not fit for purpose and needed a major overhaul. The Legal Services Act was not intended for today’s innovation within the legal sector and leaves little room to enable new technology to be taken under the regulatory wing. Statutory restrictions have prevented the regulatory framework to adapt to a more diverse legal service provision. The final report that was published in June this year and sets out a series of proposals, which could provide both short term and long- term reform. Currently we are in a state of ‘all’ or ‘nothing’, with some legal service providers being left out in the cold, whilst others suffer the burden of ‘Title Based’ regulation opposed to ‘Activity Based’ regulation, that it can be argued to be eminently more sensible. The key points for the unregulated providers to take note, is that reform is inevitable, and there is a new call to bring the unregulated into the framework in the short-term. If the framework is developed in relation to ‘activities’ then willwriters and paralegals should think very carefully about being left out, if they do not adjust to new criteria that will undoubtedly be forthcoming in relation to (a) categorising the risk of certain activities (will writing has already been muted to ‘high risk’) and (b) ensuring that providers of ‘activites’, meet the new standards of competency whatever they may be. The report does however highlight and more importantly recognise that there is an independent voluntary regulator, the Professional Paralegal Register (PPR), who acts as a regulator for all those offering legal services outside the regulated professions. The way forward for the unregulated sector is to provide a united front and organisations who are interested in protecting the unregulated sector are advised to contact the PPR. To find out more about the Professional Paralegal Register visit www.ppr.org.uk

Sir Robin Knowles, CBE awarded with PPR Outstanding Achievement Award 2020

The Professional Paralegal Register is delighted to announce that the PPR Outstanding Achievement Award was given to Sir Robin Knowles, CBE at the National Paralegal Awards virtual ceremony on Friday 18 September.  The award was given in recognition of Sir Robin’s life- long commitment to the legal profession, continuing work on access to justice for those without means and promoting a diverse legal sector where the Paralegal Profession plays an important role.

Sir Robin was involved in rewriting the Commercial Court Guide as part of the Woolf Reforms. He was a member of the Aikens working party on “supercases”. With Sir William Blair, he worked successfully to secure the new Queen’s Counsel system. With others, he led work to bring about the Rolls Building – the world’s largest dedicated business dispute resolution centre.

Commenting at the virtual award ceremony: 

“Paralegals comprise of one of the second largest sectors of the legal profession and paralegals providing legal services have a collective effort to improve access to justice.   Paralegals should seize the opportunity to come together to act within the public interest and commit to providing services pro bono”.  Sir Robin said that if just 10% of paralegals contributed personally, collectively and collaboratively it would be the greatest single step forward for access to justice in a decade. 

Sir Robin Knowles laid down the gauntlet to the PPR and called upon paralegals to task Rita Leat, Managing Director of the PPR and Chief Executive of the Institute of Paralegals to present to the Civil Justice Council forum in December what the Paralegal sector pledge to do pro bono to give those without means access to justice. 

Over 500 tuned in to the awards ceremony.  To watch a playback of the virtual event visit https://youtu.be/tvGchIOFqbY 

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Notes to editors 

The Professional Paralegal Register

The Professional Paralegal Register (PPR) is 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 PPR.

Employers and consumers can be assured that those individuals on the register meet the required standards of both the individual’s recognised membership body and the robust criteria set by the PPR. 

Paralegals who are on the Register are regulated in terms of their professional conduct however, Professional Paralegals who hold a Paralegal Practising Certificate (PPC) are fully regulated to offer legal services to consumers.

For further comment, please contact:

Rita Leat, Managing Director, The Professional Paralegal Register 
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 0203 039 3710