NALP Code of Conduct and Ethics

  1. NALP Paralegals shall, by their membership, covenant to observe the rules of conduct set out in this Code.
  1. NALP Paralegals, whether employed or self-employed, shall at no time represent him/herself to a client, solicitor, barrister, notary public, licensed conveyancer, chartered legal executive or other paralegal, court administrative personnel or member of the general public either expressly or impliedly by any legal description other than as a NALP Paralegal and referencing their level of NALP Membership i.e. Affiliate, Associate, Graduate, Fellow or Principal Fellow and if they are self-employed, state that they have a Licence to Practise, with PII (Professional Indemnity Insurance) and this should be brought to the attention of any prospective client.
  1. NALP Paralegals, whether employed or self-employed, shall at all times be aware of what constitutes ‘Reserved Activities’ as defined by Section 12 of the Legal Services Act 2007 and shall not infer in any way that they are able to perform such activities. (See the NALP’s Guidance for Paralegals Supplying Legal Services and Holding Out).
  1. NALP Paralegals whether employed or self-employed must discharge his/her duties at all times with honesty and integrity.
  1. NALP Paralegals, whether employed or self-employed, shall at all times work in a conscientious, diligent and efficient manner and will give loyalty to the firm/company/organisation for which s/he works and the Partners/Directors and other employees thereof.
  1. NALP Paralegals whether employed or self-employed have a duty to, and will hold in strict confidence, all information acquired in the course of their professional relationship concerning the business and affairs of their Client, the Firm or Principal for which or for whom they may work or have worked for or with in the past, and the clients or former clients thereof, and will not divulge any such information to anyone unless expressly authorized or required by law to do so.
  1. NALP Paralegals, whether employed or self-employed, will observe all relevant rules and laws regarding the presentation and safekeeping of the property of any client entrusted to them or their firm or Principal.
  1. NALP Paralegals who are self-employed practitioners or have their own paralegal firm, shall on no account request monies in advance of their fees from their client. Neither shall they request monies in advance for costs that may be incurred. Any costs that are necessary to assist in the process of the client’s case should be brought to the client’s attention and be paid for directly by the client him/herself to the person/company/organisation/ court/ government department making the charge.
  1. NALP Paralegals whether employed or self-employed must communicate with their clients on a regular basis and must keep their clients effectively informed of the true progress of any transaction, matter or action with which s/he is dealing and will not in any way intentionally mislead a client regarding any aspect thereof.
  1. NALP Paralegals must ensure that they are transparent in all of their dealings with clients, including costs and timescales necessary to undertake any work requested. NALP Paralegals should ensure that they adhere to similar guidelines as per the SRA Rules for Solicitors. To this end, NALP Paralegals should provide indicative pricing for prospective clients, preferably on their websites, etc. Whilst it can be difficult to provide a real ‘price list’ for legal services, even for paralegal work, there are some basic services that could be given price bands or some indication of the ‘average cost’. (further details are provided in the Members’ Handbook).
  1. NALP Paralegals must ensure that they make their Complaints Policy easily accessible and ensure that this Policy includes reference to their right of escalation of Complaints to NALP.
  1. NALP Paralegals whether employed or self-employed must actively assist in maintaining the integrity of the legal profession in general and the Paralegal Profession in particular and will do nothing to bring them into disrepute.
  1. NALP Paralegals’ conduct, whether employed or self-employed, towards their Clients, Principal, colleagues at work and the clients of the firm together with other members of the legal profession should be characterised by courtesy and good faith at all times.
  1. NALP Paralegals working within law firms should ensure that they are familiar with the provisions of The Solicitors Practice Rules and The Solicitors Accounts Rules together with the Law Society’s Guide to the Professional Conduct of Solicitors including any amendments thereto.
  1. NALP Paralegals must inform their employers of any conflict of interest that might arise concerning the Paralegal or any personal interest that the Paralegal may have in any matter in which s/he is dealing.
  1. Any business cards used by a NALP Paralegal whether employed or self-employed, shall include the name of his/her employer (if relevant) and should specify the level of NALP membership the paralegal has.

Note: Further details on what this means for paralegals is provided in the Membership Handbook which is made available to all NALP Members