We have achieved the Lexcel standard

Ian Walker - Lexcel standard solicitorsIn December 2018 our organisation and working practices were independently audited and we were awarded the Law Society’s legal practice quality mark known as Lexcel

Lexcel provides a flexible, supportive management framework to promote a quality management approach and client service in how to run a legal practice. The framework helps practices develop consistent operational efficiencies and client services, manage risk effectively, reduce costs and promote profitability. It is the most appropriate Standard for the legal profession as it was written by solicitors for solicitors.

Elements of the Lexcel Standard

Lexcel sets the required standard in seven different areas:

  1. structure and strategy,
  2. financial management,
  3. information management,
  4. people management,
  5. risk management,
  6. client care, file and
  7. case management.

Lexcel scheme rules outline the design, principles and governance processes of the scheme.

Independently assessed

Lexcel is independently assessed and demonstrates our commitment to consistently deliver services that meet client expectations, improve overall satisfaction and assist regulatory compliance. Lexcel Accreditation is re-assessed every year.

We were already accredited through the Legal Aid Agency’s Specialist Quality Mark (SQM). There is some overlap between Lexcel and SQM, but in our view, SQM is more a minimum standard, whereas Lexcel is broader and is a better framework for ongoing practice improvement.

We submitted our application for Lexcel accreditation in October 2018 and were successfully audited at the start of December 2018.

Very positive feedback

Our audit report included the following from our assessor:

  • This was a hugely positive initial assessment visit which provided extensive evidence of compliance with the Lexcel standard even at this early stage
  • Overall, I was extremely impressed by the way that the practice has been able to adapt their policies, procedures and plans to meet the requirements of version 6.1 of the standard
  • This visit did identify a small number of minor non-compliances but these largely concerned the contents of the Office Manual and associated reports [Resolved by the time we broke up for Christmas]
  • Throughout the firm I was impressed by the excellent morale and positive attitude of the members of the firm and how they are looking forward to the continuing growth and development of the practice
  • It was also good to hear how positive people are about the move towards paperless working and how everybody, without exception, is clear about the potential benefits of that change
  • A number of suggestions are made for further improvement, all of which relate to making already good systems better

A milestone for our practice

Gaining the Lexcel standard is important for us because it shows that we have financial, management and client care systems in place which are comparable to much bigger and longer established competitors.

Gaining Lexcel is a big step forward for the practice as it demonstrates that we are now a fully established and quality practice and will assist us to improve the reach of our services.

As an exercise, all of our team were involved in the preparation for audit and most were interviewed. We all have a stake in the successful outcome.

We are proud to display the Lexcel logo on our website as a demonstration of the quality of our practice.