The Institute of Paralegals (IoP) is making its move in the professional development market after being bought into by Instructus Group - a group of education bodies focused on developing UK's professionals. The deal comes as part of the IoP's aim to inject more resources into developing the careers of paralegals and legal secretaries with professional status, competency standards and recognised qualifications.
The IoP will complement the not-for-profit Group's role in professional development, as Instructus also owns the Institute of Administrative Management - the oldest professional body for managers in the UK. Chairman of Instructus Group, David Holland, said: "Our new business venture with the IoP provides a great opportunity for us to step into in a growing market. The IoP is a perfect addition to our family of organisations, which already includes a professional Institute for management professionals. We look forward to growing the IoP with more resources and better services to ensure paralegal professionals get even greater recognition and career development opportunities."
Steve Wilcock, co-founder of the Institute and new Director of Policy, said: "Our aim has always been to be the natural professional home for paralegals by setting standards, promoting professionalism and ensuring recognition. By joining the Instructus group, we are growing the business so our members can benefit from a group structure that is experienced in enhancing and developing the careers of UK professionals. The additional Instructus resources and expertise will enable us to enhance our offering to members and to develop their Institute in line with changing pace of the legal sector. We have now secured our pre-eminent position to shape the new paralegal profession and to maximise the opportunities for paralegals."
Institute management changes
After 10 years at the helm, founder and Chief Excecutive James O'Connell has decided, after steering the Institute into the Instructus group, to move on to pursue personal business opportunities. James told the Paralegal, "I have some exciting opportunities that will require a full time commitment and having secured the Institute's future as part of the Instructus Group I feel the time is right for a change. I am immensely proud of all that I have achieved with the Institute and will remain a friend. I feel that the Institute is in great shape and now has the resources to lead the paralegal agenda in the new legal profession. I look forward to watching developments in the coming years".
Steve Wilcock, Institute co-founder and new Director of Policy said, " Having worked with James since the Institute's inception, I wish to acknowledge the debt that we owe James for his tireless efforts and enthusiasm on behalf of paralegals and for his vision and leadership. He is responsible almost single-handedly for the pre-eminent positon of the Institute in advancing the cause of paralegals. I am delighted to announce that James has been made an honorary life fellow in recognition of his contribution and I look forward to keeping in regular contact with him. On behalf of all members, many of whom will have benefited from James' unique brand of direct and dedicated service, I would like to offer James grateful thanks and very best wishes for the future."
He added, "We have taken this opportunity to reorganise the Institute's structure. The Chief Executive role will now sit in the Instructus Group, co-ordinating the Group's joint resources. Institute leadership will come from the new Director of Policy post, which it is my honour to have accepted. Our team will be supported by specialists from the Instructus team in fulfilling our standards, education and professional development missions. We are all looking forward to advancing the aspirations of paralegals in the new year, our 10th anniversary".