On 15th December 2016, the CMA published its study and report into the legal services sector and concluded that there is not enough information available on price, quality and service to help those who need legal support choose the best option.
If you have had the time to read the 518-page report then you will have seen in detail the findings but those who haven’t, I provide you with ‘snippets’ from the report with a bias towards the role of Paralegals and those law firms run by Paralegals. The link to the report is here https://www.gov.uk/cma-cases/legal-services-market-study. I have simply searched for the word ‘paralegal’ in providing this brief.
I am a Paralegal. I am authorised and regulated by the Professional Paralegal Register (PPR) and I am a Fellow of the Institute of Paralegals (IOP). I have over 10 years’ legal experience and my client base comprises of member of public, small businesses and solicitors. I regularly attend Court in Small Claims, Landlord/Tenant and Mortgage Repossession matters.
As a Paralegal, I am an ‘unauthorised provider’ of legal services [page 110]. This does not mean that I cannot provide the service it just simply means that there are some things that I am (by law) not able to do.
In terms of consumer protection, I am still subject to the same baseline consumer legislation and as mentioned above I am regulated by the PPR which offers a dedicated consumer complaint panel which can lead to financial compensation for consumers and sanctions against any failing paralegal. If a financial award is made against a paralegal and the paralegal does not pay then the PPR will offer compensation from their own fund [Page 139].
I chose to be a member of the PPR as although I am not required to have any specific arrangements in place to offer redress if things go wrong [Page C6], I am committed to providing a high level of customer service and therefore I choose to have in place a customer redress scheme.
The PPR places their Paralegals into a tier category so that they can be mapped to the requisite standards [Page 124]. I am placed at Tier 4 which is the highest Tier of Paralegal on the Register. I also have £1 million worth of Professional Indemnity Insurance.
Some of the work I do includes handling certain aspects of litigation (court proceedings) including drafting documents (including Court documents), negotiations, correspondence and advice [Page G7]. I am able to provide this service although I am not formally on the record.
Whilst I agree that many consumers do not really understand the term ‘paralegal’, I describe myself as a ‘lawyer’ as I am someone that practices the law. I am not a solicitor nor a barrister and I shall never claim to be as this is not only illegal but may also result. My hourly rate is £36.00 per hour which is far cheaper than those charged by ‘authorised providers’. I also aim to provide the highest level of quality and service to all customers and this can be shown by the many testimonials on my CheckaProfessional Page (www.checkaprofessional.com/WhiteCollar) and by the testimonial page on my website (www.whitecollarlegalandadmin.com/testimonials).
In addition, I have access to Direct Access Barristers and a panel of solicitors (authorised providers) in the event that we are not able to provide the service you are looking for.
I hope that this brief has given you an insight into Paralegals and a Paralegal Law Firm but if you have any questions or want to discuss the service that I can provide to assist you in your legal matter, you can contact me on 0151 230 8931 or [email protected].