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]

Continuing Professional Development spot checks

The PPR will be carrying out random spot checks on Continuing Professional Development (CPD) records of registered professional paralegals starting in January 2021.

Why is the PPR doing this?

CPD is required to be undertaken by Tier 2 Paralegals and above.

Members of the PPR are responsible for their own professional development in accordance with the Paralegal Practitioners Rules however to ensure that registered paralegals keep their record cards updated and undertake their set number of CPD hours, we believe spot checks will prove more proportionate and less onerous than requiring all registered members of the PPR to submit their record cards annually.

It is worth noting that registered members who hold Professional Practising Certificates (PPC’s) and are fully regulated by the PPR will be excluded from the spot checks as they must provide their CPD records annually to comply with the Paralegal Practising Certificate Rules.

How will I know if I’ve been selected for spot-checking?

The PPR will contact those selected for spot-checking to ask for evidence of completion of their CPD hours and their record card.

Why have I been selected?

Paralegals will be selected entirely at random.

What is Continual Professional Development (CPD)?

Continual Professional Development (CPD) is any relevant and valid education or training by a Paralegal to enable them to develop his or her professional knowledge, skills and abilities.

The CPD should cover:

  • Law – procedure and practice
  • Client care skills
  • Practice skills
  • Organisational and management skills

What are the PPR’s CPD Requirements?

Members at Associate level (Tier 2) and above are required to undertake a minimum of 12 hours CPD in each year of practice. 

3 hours must be gained through formal means such as:

  • Attendance at a legal conference
  • Seminars
  • Workshops
  • Courses
  • Training
  • Publishing papers, articles or books

The remaining hours may be gained through private study; taking part in consultations; in-house training; reading journals or books; preparing training materials or presentations.

Records and Monitoring

Paralegals who are registered are required to complete and maintain a CPD record in good faith.

If a member does not have a summary of their CPD i.e. what you did, when, with which provider (if relevant) and the benefit to your professional education (e.g. legal updating, new skill, etc.) then they can download the PPR’s CPD Record Template to complete by clicking here.

Are there any exemptions?

A Member may, in extenuating circumstances, apply for an exemption of up to 4 hours CPD.

If a Member has not complied with the requisite CPD requirements and they are not entitled to an exemption, the PPR will investigate and may withdraw the Member from the PPR. A Member’s CPD record may be used in any complaint investigation that alleges lack of knowledge or incompetent practice.

If a Member holds a practising certificate, they will be excluded from the spot checks.

If you have any questions or queries, please contact the Head of Memberships and Events, Abby Dennis by email on [email protected] or phone 0203 039 3710.

Coronavirus: Managing Director Message

Rita Leat, PPR's Managing DirectorIt 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.

Keep Safe,

Rita Leat

Managing Director, The PPR.

COVID-19 update - what we are doing

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.

Our staff are now working from home.  Working hours remain the same (Monday to Friday, 8am to 3pm) and we can still be contacted by email, telephone and via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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.

National Paralegal Awards 2020 winners celebrate with virtual ceremony

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

Thank you to our sponsors and judges for their support to the awards.

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]

You now have more time to enter the National Paralegal Awards 2020!

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.

Why enter? 
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.

To find out how to enter and to download the entry pack and template visit www.nationalparalegalawards.com
 
Please ensure that you read the pack carefully and use the entry form template, sections and headers provided.  It is important that you use these as they match the criteria and score cards our judges will be using. Once completed these are to be copied and pasted into the online entry form
 
If you need any help or advice on what categories to enter or the type of supporting evidence you need to include, please contact us on 01442 508 206 or email [email protected] 
Please note that the PPR office closes on the 20th December and reopens on 2nd January 2020.