Job titles for lawyers can be confusing in England and Wales because the term Lawyer is a vague title that can means a solicitor, barrister or CILEx lawyer. Only fully qualified legal professionals are lawyers and may call themselves as such.
Whilst the term Counsel is not protected by law, legal professionals are advised against using it as it could be misleading to the public. In the UK, 'counsel' is very much synonymous with barrister. The term counsel is more likely to be used in-house by international firms, which tend to equate the term with lawyer as opposed to barrister.
The term Legal Executive is not protected by law either. We would advise legal professionals against using it as it could also mislead the public or other people they may be dealing with. It was the title previously used by fully qualified CILEx Fellows.
The term Solicitor is protected by law. It is a criminal offence to hold yourself out as a solicitor when you are not qualified under the Solicitors Regulation Authority. It should be noted that CILEx lawyers are not solicitors and cannot call themselves as such.
Trainee legal executives are discouraged from using the title Trainee Chartered Legal Executive as it does not specify the stage of training. Instead, they are advised to use the appropriate designatory letters in their job titles, for example ACILEx for Associate members, GCILEx for Graduate members, and FCILEx for Fellows.
There are some other commonly used job titles for non-lawyers, depending on their employer, role, and level of membership or experience, including:
Senior Legal Advisor