in Employers, Legal Profession

Family Panel and Resolution Accredited Specialists

One of our senior candidates has been in touch this morning to point out a slight issue that keeps coming up in adverts both on our site and job boards.
“I have been looking at family vacancies on the web and noticed that some vacancies refer to Family Panel Members or Resolution Accredited Specialists. I have both qualifications and I am an Advanced Member of the Family Panel. Vacancies often state they want someone with 2 to 3 years PQE with these qualifications. You cannot obtain Family Panel status until you have held a practising Certificate for at least 3 years. Advanced Membership requires 5 years. Similar requirements are in place for Resolution. It is therefore not possible unless there are exceptional circumstances for anyone of 2 years PQE to hold these qualifications.
I would find it hard to envisage someone less than 4 years PQE having Panel membership and no less than 5.5 years PQE for Advanced Panel Membership. The same is true of Resolution Specialist Accreditation as time served is a requirement before applying.
Firms should also realise the LSC only made Advanced Membership and Specialist Accreditation requirements of the LSC tender. Mere Family Panel membership without the advanced element got a firm nowhere. The same is true of membership of Resolution, you had to have Specialist Accreditation.
Both of those elements require an exam to be undertaken not just files done and time served.
Obviously when you start talking about those higher qualifications and longer terms of PQE you talk of higher salaries. But even in a legal aid firm its not too hard to earn £140K per annum.”
Very important point to make – I have mentioned this to firms a number of times over the years, but I think partners consider salary levels and base their job specifications around these.
Jonathan Fagan

Jonathan Fagan LLM FIRP is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. He has been recruiting solicitors and legal support staff for law firms and in house legal departments for over 20 years and handles roles from junior fee earners through to partners and law firm sales/purchases. A non-practising solicitor on the Roll since 2000, he is also the author of a number of legal career books, which are available at You can contact Jonathan at