About UsThe IoP is the leading authority on the development and standing of Paralegals
Who we areThe Institute of Paralegals is a professional membership body that connects individuals with the shared purpose of providing professional legal services.
We were incorporated in 2003 and in 2005 we were granted institute status by the Secretary of State for the Department of Trade & Industry, after proving that we met the government's requirement that we were a "professional body of the highest standing".
The Institute is the standard setting body for Paralegals as recognised by the unregulated legal services sector regulator, the PPR. We are the only Paralegal Body that is recognised by the voluntary regulator as having robust professional standards.
Our networking opportunities and career hub are there to inspire and promote excellence in the development of Paralegals everywhere. When you join us, you become part of a government recognised professional body that is passionate about promoting the profession.
Rita Leat - Chief Executive
Rita Leat took up post as the COO for The National Association of Licensed Paralegals in 2011 managing the strategic and operational functions of the organisation. She added to her role in 2013 by becoming the Responsible Officer for Ofqual, dealing with compliance. She became a founder Director of The Professional Paralegal Register in 2014 and the Institute’s of Paralegals Chief Executive in May 2017. Her early career was in teaching and lecturing in Law, where she held a variety of posts including delivery on the LL.B. and other post-graduate courses. As a legal editor for five years at ILEX, she enhanced her skills for developing legal qualifications for the Paralegal sector. From 2007 to 2009 she utilised her commercial law expertise as a commercial lawyer for GlaxoSmithKline. Her role as the Chief Executive of the IoP encompasses the strategic development of a professional membership body for paralegals.
Carmen moved to London from a small city in Romania in 2009. She studied Law at a Romanian University and worked as a lawyer for five years in a Romanian law firm before moving to the UK.
She took the post as the Head of Membership of the IoP in January 2015, and her job is to lead on the development and management of the IOP’s Membership. She actively contributes to developing programs, initiatives, and policies designed to increase membership and she creates, updates, and distributes information to current members as well as prospective members.
Alex Thackray - Media/IT expert
Alex Thackray BEng EMBA started his career in commercial roles for large multinational companies, focusing on contract formation, management and dispute resolution. In 2013 he graduated from Aston University in the Executive MBA course, sitting in the top 10% of all students within the cohort.
Alex is the Head of Communications and Media for the Institute of Paralegals following the formation and successful development of a forward thinking digital marketing agency. Alex has gone on to lecture at Aston University on the capabilities of new digital media channels.
Alex took up his role with the IOP in May 2017.