DG Legal
39 The Rushes, Loughborough. LE12 5BG

DG Legal is the largest provider of strategic and compliance services operating in England & Wales.

Established in 2000, we have 26 leading consultants who have either worked as gamekeepers or are acknowledged as a leading authority in their area of expertise.  We have experts who have worked for and with the SRA, The Legal Ombudsman, The Law Society, CILEx and the Legal Aid Agency.  We have helped more than 1000 firms ranging from Sole Practitioners to ‘Magic Circle’ firms.

We have a 100% success record with SRA authorisation applications, Lexcel assessments, SQM audits and CQS applications.

We are designers of Compliance Caddy, a best in class cloud-based practice management software that reduces the time that the COLP, COFA and Practice Managers spend on compliance, GDPR and training administration.

Our consultants have trained hundreds of assessors for The Law Society (Lexcel) and the Legal Aid Agency (Specialist Quality Mark (SQM)) and our experts continue to train the assessors for the SQM standard.

 

Stuart Lee

Stuart is a Law Society Accredited Lexcel Assessor conducting a wide range of Lexcel Assessments on behalf of Centre for Assessment and another assessment body each year. He is also a registered Lexcel Consultant.

 

Stuart is the Lead Auditor for the Legal Aid Agency’s SQM Quality Standard with responsibility for the training and development of assessors and quality assurance as well as conducting audits.

 

Stuart is one of only 3 outsource inspectors who conduct outsourced regulatory inspections for the Council of Licensed Conveyancers.

 

In the past 8 years Stuart has worked on numerous consultancy projects with Legal Firms of all sizes, able to assist them with completing tender applications, legal aid funding and contracting appeals, Lexcel and SQM consultancy, supporting regulatory reviews and application support.  He also offers training and support in relation to anti-money laundering and fraud prevention, cyber security, data protection, social media and marketing.

 

Stuart is an accomplished speaker having presented at several conferences including the Law Society’s Lexcel Conference, and Legal Inx Conference and delivers training on behalf of Lexcel Assessment Bodies to their existing and prospective Clients on developments within the Legal Sector.

 

Prior to becoming an assessor / consultant Stuart worked for the Legal Aid Agency for 12 years as a Contract Manager, Area Contract Manager for Merseyside and Head of the Mental Health Operational Unit. Prior to that he worked in the IT and Finance Industries in Contract Management, Quality Assurance and Training.

 

Stuart has a Masters Degree in Business Administration.

 

Steve Keeling

Steve worked at the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) in a variety of roles over a 16 year period. Steve is a very experienced Contract Manager, has considerable knowledge of the Agency’s systems and approach to contract management and audit activity and can provide advice on how to prepare for LAA visits and avoid making errors.

 

Steve has also held the following roles at various times with the LAA: SQM auditor, National Not-for-Profit Lead Contract Manager, with responsibilities for liaising with representative bodies; and Audit Manager, working within the Operational Assurance Team. Steve has undertaken writing and running several training courses over the years and is an experienced public speaker.

 

He has a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and has a lot of experience in providing coaching. Steve also became one of the first LAA contract managers to become accredited with the IACCM (International Association for Commercial and Contract Management) in 2015 and has passed courses in PRINCE2 and with the Association of Project Management.

 

Prior to working with the LAA, Steve worked in Business Banking for the National Australia Bank for 5 years and therefore has a good understanding of commerce and how to interpret financial information and accounts.

Amie Higgins

Amie is a Senior Solicitor, admitted to the Roll in 2008 and qualified under the Law Society’s Immigration & Asylum Accreditation Scheme (IAAS) as a Level 3 (Advanced) Caseworker and Supervisor. Amie was called to the Bar by the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple in October 2005 and as such is a qualified non-practising Barrister.

 

As a specialist in anti-human trafficking cases, Amie is currently engaged by ATLEU (Anti-Trafficking & Labour Exploitation Unit) as a Public Law/Immigration Solicitor and Training Lead. She is an external assessor for the Law Society’s Immigration & Asylum Level 3 (Advanced) Accreditation Scheme.

 

Amie specialises in all aspects of immigration, asylum and human rights work, representing both private and legally aided clients from initial application to appeals in the First-Tier/Upper Tribunal, High Court and Court of Appeal. Amie has an impressive success rate and is a highly sought after practitioner.

 

Amie won Immigration Lawyer of the Year award in 2010 and has been recommended as an individual practitioner in the Legal 500 since 2015.

 

Having set up her own niche Immigration & Human Rights law firm, Bankfield Heath Solicitors in March 2012, Amie grew the business from three members of staff to twenty three with four offices.

 

Amie offers advice and assistance in the following areas;

 

Advising and assisting firms in respect of LAA audits

Assisting firms in relation to Peer Review. Amie has been instructed by a number of firms requiring assistance after receiving a rating of 4 or 5 following a Peer Review. Amie has drafted detailed representations against these ratings which has often resulted in the Peer Review rating being overturned

Challenging Contract Notices, Contract Sanctions and Contract Termination with the LAA and before the Contract Review Body with a 100% success rate

Obtaining and maintaining Lexcel and SQM accreditation for firms

Outsourced file reviews (monthly/quarterly)

Drafting standard precedent file notes and letters

Advice and assistance with the COLP / COFA roles

Complaint handling

Business development and practice management

An experienced trainer, Amie delivers a range of training to firms and individual practitioners on issues relating to legal aid queries, file management, billing/claim amendments, the Standard Contract and Specification, Exceptional Case Funding and Anti-Trafficking/Modern Slavery. Amie offers bespoke training courses designed to meet your requirements.

Emily Mayes

 

Emily is an experienced and qualified consultant and assessor for Lexcel, SQM, Investors in People and, more recently, BS76000 Valuing People.

 

With a background in HR, Emily started working with Investors in People in 1998, implementing the Standard at Philips Electronics. She became a qualified assessor and started working for Investors in People UK in the selection and development of consultants and assessors in the UK and internationally.

 

The IIP assessor role led to work in the legal sector and she became a Law Society accredited Lexcel Assessor and Consultant in 2006.  In addition, since 2010, she has been working as an Assessor for the SQM Delivery Partnership.  In 2016, Emily started working with the British Standard BS76000:2015 Valuing People Standard.

 

Alongside assessment work, Emily works as a consultant, providing support to clients wishing to gain and retain accreditation to the Standards she works with.

 

Adam has been involved in legal practice management for more than 15 years, with the last 12 managing respectively the largest civil legal aid firm (Duncan Lewis – 2007- 2011) and the largest criminal legal aid firm (Tuckers – 2011 – present) in that time.  A qualified solicitor (still), Adam has had a diverse career in private practice including spells as a residential conveyancer on the one hand and dealing with heavyweight spread betting litigation & international arbitration for Russian oligarchs on the other.  He turned his back on practising law in 2005, after completing his MBA, and he now devotes all his time to the better management of law firms.

 

Adam has been a member of the Law Society’s Crime Practitioners’ Group for 7 years and has regularly been a member of delegations to the Ministry of Justice to engage with government on policy relating to the criminal justice system and legal aid funding, including the government’s 18 month review of criminal justice which commenced at the beginning of 2019.

 

In 2018, Adam won both the inaugural  LAPG  award for Practice Manager of the Year, as well as the award for Access to Justice through IT, based on the development of Tuckers’ CaseRatio software.

 

During his management career, Adam has led in all aspects of practice management;

 

IT Infrastructure/digitisation:  Adam has implemented significant projects overhauling analogue systems and bringing Tuckers into the digital age.  He brought paperless working from the inception of a case at the police station right through to (nearly) removing any archiving costs from the business, given the absence of paper in even the largest Crown Court cases.  Adam established a wholly owned subsidiary in India for the purposes of developing case & practice management software.  From a standing start, within 3 years, the software has been developed, tested and rolled out across 17 offices throughout the country.

 

Adam has led on both obtaining and retaining quality marks, including Lexcel, Investors in People (Gold) & SQM, ensuring consistency of processes and standards across multiple sites and multiple practice areas.  He has been a CoLP for over a decade, taking in his stride the ever increasing compliance burden in that time; including implementation of Tuckers’ GDPR regime (incorporating relevant international agreements between Tuckers’ UK based LLP and Indian based software development company).

 

 

Matthew Howgate

 

Email

Matthew is an exceptional and sought-after compliance and organisational development consultant.

 

He is a non-practising solicitor and, after several years as a lawyer in private practice, he joined the Legal Services Commission where he was Senior Legal Adviser and Head of Continuous Improvement.  He was also appointed as Legal Standards Principal at the Co-operative Legal Services Ltd.

 

Matthew has considerable experience in regulatory issues and advising on complex issues of compliance and ethics.  He is also an expert in data protection (and GDPR) and on the civil legal aid scheme.

 

His clients include the Law Society, the Legal Aid Practitioners Group, the Law Centres Network, the London Legal Support Trust, as well as dozens of law firms and advice agencies.  He has also acted for local authorities, think tanks and major funders.  He sits on the risk and compliance committees of two significant law firms.

 

In addition to his compliance portfolio, Matthew works on a number of business development and turnaround projects.  He has helped set-up a number of law firms (and advice charities) and has helped dozens more with restructuring and increased profitability projects.  He is an experienced manager and change manager.

 

He has a significant expertise in public sector commissioning, working with local authorities and those bidding for public sector contracts.

 

Matthew is a lead trainer on and co-developed the LAPG Certificate in Practice Management (a training programme for legal managers and law firm owners) as well as regularly providing training on legal aid Supervision; costs maximisation; data protection and security; and on general SRA compliance.  He was even asked to train MP’s and their staff on the legal aid scheme.  In addition to face to face training, he also develops and produces online training modules and speaks regularly at conferences.

 

Pam Kenworthy OBE

Pam Kenworthy has over 20 years’ experience at Partner/Managing Partner level and was awarded an OBE for services to Legal Aid in 2014. She spent 10 years as a solicitor and partner at national law firm Thompsons before going into teaching and lectured in employment law at both Sheffield universities and Sheffield College where she taught the ILEX course.

 

On returning to legal practice Pam became a partner in regional law firm Howells and from 2007 headed up their publicly funded telephone advice services (Community Legal Advice) delivering high volume legal advice in social welfare law and most recently discrimination law.

 

Pam also managed two Community Legal Advice Centres. This involved building, managing and exiting (post LASPO) a multi-£m business with a client service culture at its heart employing 200 staff. She was a member of the Low Commission which reported in January 2012 on a sustainable future for social welfare advice and now works as a legal services consultant and trainer.

David Gilmore

 

David founded DG Legal in 2000.  It is the largest provider of strategic and compliance services operating in the legal sector only in England & Wales.

 

David has worked with several government departments including the Home Office, the Ministry of Justice, the Welsh Assembly Government and the Legal Services Commission. He has also advised dozens of charities involved in the legal sector including the Legal Education Foundation, Comic Relief, Unbound Philanthropy, the Baring Foundation, Citizens Advice and the Law Centres Network.

 

He has also provided advice and assistance to hundreds of law firms and other legal organisations. He delivers specialist consultancy and training on a wide range of topics including business management & strategy, tendering, compliance and quality assurance. David has designed software to assist practitioners including Email checker and Compliance Caddy, a best in class cloud-based practice management software that reduces the time that the COLP, COFA and Practice Managers spend on compliance, GDPR and training administration.

 

David is a writer for LexisNexis and a member of the Consulting Editorial Board for LexisPSL. David has also been responsible for the writing of a solicitors’ accreditation scheme assessment on behalf of the Law Society and leading the assessment marking team since 2003.

 

David also founded and regularly contributes to LegalVoice, a not-for-profit online magazine for legal professionals.

 

Prior to establishing DG Legal, David worked for Abbey, Marks & Spencer and the Legal Services Commission in varying senior management roles.

 

In 2016 David was appointed as a Commissioner advising Lord Bach on policy relating to Justice and Legal Aid.

 

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