Lexcel is the Law Society of England and Wales legal practice quality mark promoting a quality management approach for client service and practice management.
Accredited practices are able to demonstrate that they are committed to delivering high levels of client services in a consistent manner that meet their client’s expectations.
The Lexcel Standard assesses seven business areas: structure and strategy, financial management, information management, people management, risk management, client care, file and case management, by using a flexible framework that specifies areas of improvement. This allows you to implement policies producers that are appropriate to how you operate.
As a risk management tool, it covers the main causes of claims against solicitors within the quality mark. In addition, it covers specific procedures for assessing and managing risk within your practice.
Lexcel is suitable for any legal practice, regardless of the size or type of work undertaken. this includes; private practices in England and Wales, international markets, non-profit organisations, and in-house teams.
Lexcel England and Wales v6.1 and Lexcel International v5.1 became mandatory from November 2018 when the Standard was revised to reflect the needs of the market. The two versions of Lexcel are as follows:
Lexcel England and Wales is divided into two versions to meet the needs of legal practices and in-house legal departments. These entities are defined as:
Lexcel is appropriate for all types and sizes of practices. It is particularly important for sole practitioners as they are perhaps under the most pressure to work harder, faster and smarter.
Increase client satisfaction
Win more new business
Gain operational efficiencies
Minimise the risk of claims
Attract and retain the right staff
Improve Information management security
Lexcel is now recognised by the LSC as an alternative standard to SQM (Specialist Quality mark). Firms now have the choice to be assessed against Lexcel or SQM as part of their contract requirement. If you wish to transfer from SQM to Lexcel we can arrange this for you.
Are you prepared for a Conveyancing Quality Standard (CQS) onsite audit if you are selected? Concerned if you don’t pass the CQS audit and how this will impact on your firm?
Lexcel can help you manage this and take the stress and risk out of being selected for a CQS audit. The core practice management standard that CQS firms will be audited against has been revised and is now more in line with Lexcel but more conveyancing specific in its terminology.
Having an annual Lexcel assessment will mean that you are more prepared for a CQS audit as you will have had regular visits from a Lexcel assessor checking that your policies and procedures are in place and effective.
Centre for Assessment have been selected by The Law Society as the only independent assessment body for CQS audits and have several Lexcel Assessors with a conveyancing background and experience of auditing CQS.
If you would like to become accredited against Lexcel and have an assessor with Conveyancing background, please let us know and we can facilitate this for you.
Lexcel is accepted as a quality standard by the Legal Aid Agency, instead of obtaining the Specialist Quality Mark (SQM).
Legal aid practices are choosing to move away from SQM and are opting for Lexcel instead. Firms are recognising the benefits of having an annual assessment rather than and assessment every 3 years as is the case with SQM. Those practices with Lexcel don’t have to panic at the tender stage as they already have a quality standard in place.
Working in a highly regulated sector can prove very difficult to keep your policies and procedures up to date. Having annual assessments with an experienced Lexcel assessor can help highlight areas where you need to make changes allowing you to do this in a controlled manner with limiting the risk and impact on your practice.