Lexcel
The Law Society accreditation
Lexcel
The Law Society accreditation

Lexcel is The Law Society of England and Wales' accreditation, designed to recognise law firms that are committed to legal excellence.  Centre for Assessment is a licensed Lexcel accreditation body, with hundreds of clients of all sizes across the legal sector.

 

If you want to achieve excellence in practice management and client care in your law firm, Lexcel accreditation through assessment from Centre for Assessment is the answer.  Read below to find out more about how we can add value to your legal practice.

What is Lexcel?

The Law Society of England and Wales' Lexcel quality mark is designed for legal practices that want to implement an effective practice management system.

First launched in 1998, Lexcel accreditation is a sign of quality, showcasing your firm's commitment to sound practice management, giving reassurance to your current and future clients that you are a firm built on trust and integrity.

The Lexcel Standard assesses your practice against seven key areas:

  • Structure and strategy
  • Financial management
  • Information management
  • People management
  • Risk management
  • Client care
  • File and case management 

A Lexcel assessment with Centre for Assessment will establish whether you are compliant with the requirements of the Standard, recognising best practice and providing you with a steer for areas that may need further development.

Is Lexcel right for you?

Legal practices of any size are suitable for a Lexcel assessment.  If you are a private practice that operates in England, Wales or further afield, or an in-house team in an organisation or local authority, you are eligible to becoming accredited.

To cater for differences between organisations, there are two versions of the accreditation.

1. Lexcel England and Wales (version 6.1) is for legal practices and in-house departments based in England and Wales.  Version 6.1 is separated into two types of assessment to suit your needs and context.  It is relevant if you are:

  • A sole practitioner, a partnership, an incorporated firm or have an alternative business structure (ABS) authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
  • A legal department which operates in-house, including if you are within a corporation, law centre, government body, not-for-profit, public sector organisation or ABS.

2. Lexcel International (version 5.1) is for practices in England and Wales that have independent offices in other areas of the UK or further afield.

If you are unsure about whether Lexcel is suitable for you, please get in touch and we will be happy to provide you with some guidance.

How much does it cost?

Centre for Assessment is always focused on value, ensuring that we provide your legal practice with a high quality and beneficial accreditation service.  However, we are also aware that cost may be a factor in your decision about whether to seek Lexcel accreditation, so we endeavour to offer highly competitive fees for our Lexcel assessments, starting from as little as £825.

Time allocations for Lexcel assessments are set by The Law Society and are based on the number of fee earners and support staff within your practice.  Centre for Assessment provides no-obligation proposals for the three-year Lexcel accreditation cycle, including initial assessment and two subsequent Annual Maintenance Visits (AMVs), but we do not expect you to commit to a recurring contract or settle an invoice before an assessment has taken place. 

With our team of experienced, specialist assessors, you can be confident that working with Centre for Assessment will achieve a return on your investment in our Lexcel accreditation service.

Contact us and a member of our Business Development team will be able to provide you with the cost of Lexcel accreditation for your firm.

Please be aware that, in addition to accreditation fees from Centre for Assessment, you will be required to pay an annual registration fee directly to The Law Society.

Why should you work with Centre for Assessment?

Centre for Assessment is highly experienced in providing assessment services to the legal sector and has held a licence to deliver Lexcel since its conception.

We have over 50 specialist assessors who have a wealth of combined experience within the legal sector.  Many have previously worked as solicitors, ensuring that they understand the challenges faced by law firms and are able to add value to the Lexcel accreditation process.

Centre for Assessment can provide you with a Cyber Essentials assessment, should you require it as part of your Lexcel compliance process, as well as a range of other certification services that are relevant to the legal sector.  These include ISO 9001 (Quality Management), ISO 22301 (Business Continuity Management), ISO 27001 (Information Security Management), Customer Service Excellence, BS76000 (Valuing People) and BS76005 (Diversity & Inclusion).  We also offer a comprehensive range of training solutions, which your practice may find beneficial.

Centre for Assessment is the only licensed Lexcel accreditation body that offers all these additional services to you, making us the obvious choice for your ongoing certification and training needs.

How can Lexcel benefit your law firm?

Becoming Lexcel accredited through Centre for Assessment has many potential benefits for your law firm.  You will be recorded on The Law Society's solicitor database as holding the Standard.  Our clients have told us that Lexcel accreditation has helped them to:

 

increase client satisfaction and retention

maintain consistently high levels of client service

attract new clients

value your people

attract and retain talented staff

improve your brand and market share

gain a competitive advantage

reduce negative customer feedback

promote equality, diversity & inclusion

maintain an effective staff training programme

increase profitability

reduce operational waste

access lower insurance premiums

minimise risks to reputation and business continuity

manage risks associated with information security and cyber crime

What do our customers say?

Don’t take our word for it. Centre for Assessment has completed thousands of Lexcel assessments and our clients are happy to provide positive feedback about the value of Lexcel and the quality of service they have received from us.

Read some feedback from our many satisfied Lexcel customers below.

‘We found preparing for and being assessed for Lexcel meant we were on top of all the new regulations which affect our firm which was very reassuring.’                 Laura, Birmingham

Lexcel has enabled our firm to create a strong foundation in compliance and legal practice management. The requirement means that we have a strong focus on client care, employment standards and reducing risk throughout the firm. The ongoing assessment means that our firm is always up to date with any regulatory changes meaning our standards never slip. Striving for accreditation keeps us at the forefront of our industry.’                                                              Sam, London

‘With the ever-increasing pressure on law firms to comply with legislation, having Lexcel is a must. It structures the way you deal with difficult matters on a day to day basis. Having systems and procedures in place and working to these standards has made a huge difference to our Company.’                                           Jayne, Bristol

‘Being Lexcel accredited brings an extra layer of risk management to a law firm. We have used Centre for Assessment since we first became accredited and continue to do so due to the ease of dealing with them and the professionalism of the assessor who really adds value in an advisory capacity.’                                 Mark, Belfast

 

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Luqmani Thompson & Partners Law Society Lexcel Case Study
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What is the Assessment Process?

  • Contact us for a quote
  • Return the signed quotation
  • An experience assessor will be allocated by Centre for Assessment. You will be able to speak to them about whether you are ready for your assessment to take place. Please ensure you have three months evidence of your Lexcel system being in place.
  • Complete and return The Law Society’s application form and pay its annual fee. www.lawsociety.org.uk/lexcel This must be submitted at least six weeks prior to your assessment date.
  • The Law Society will review your application form and provide you with an authorisation to proceed. Once we have received this, we will instruct your assessor to carry out your assessment.
  • Complete a self-assessment check list and send this to your assessor for review along with any other documentation they request from you.
  • The assessor will complete work off-site prior to the visit, reviewing documentation and providing you with an assessment plan for the onsite part of your assessment.
  • Your assessor will conduct your onsite assessment by visiting all your offices, reviewing documentation and looking at files to check all the requirements of the standard are in place and you are following your own procedures. The assessor will ask questions throughout the day and interview staff.
  • At the end of the visit the assessor will inform you of your findings and complete a report.
  • Your report will then be verified before being sent to The Law Society with an assessment recommendation.
  • Any corrective actions required will need to be submitted to your assessor within 21 days for minors and three months for majors.
  • Once all corrective actions have been actioned appropriately and the assessor’s recommendation is that you meet the standard The Law Society will then make the decision to award you Lexcel.
  • Annual maintenance visits are required to maintain your certificate with a full visit every three years.

Support for clients

  • Our experienced administration team are available to help with any stages of your Lexcel assessment, from initial enquiries through to the issue of certificates.

  • A bespoke, personalised account management team help support all clients with their ongoing compliance against the Standard.

  • In-house training courses are available to help clients understand any changes or updates to the Lexcel Standard.

  • Recognised consultants are available through our online, interactive map.

  • Pre-Assessments, self-assessments and gap analysis options are available to you.

Transferring from SQM

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.

Conveyancing firms and CQS

Lexcel can help you manage a Conveyancing Quality Standard (CQS) onsite audit, since the core practice management standard that CQS firms are audited against is now more in line with Lexcel.
Having an annual Lexcel assessment will mean that you are more prepared for a CQS audit since you will have regular visits from a Lexcel assessor checking that your policies and procedures are in place and effective.
Centre for Assessment has been selected by The Law Society as the only independent assessment body for CQS audits and has 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 a conveyancing background, please let us know so we can facilitate this for you.

Legal Aid contracts - Lexcel or SQM?

Many legal aid practices are choosing to move away from the Specialist Quality Mark (SQM) which takes place every three years, and are opting for the annual Lexcel accreditation instead.
Working in a highly regulated sector is challenging, especially when it comes to keeping policies and procedures up to date. Having annual assessments with an experienced Lexcel assessor can help highlight areas where you need to make changes, limiting the risk and impact on your practice in the process.

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