Lexcel England and Wales v6 is for practices and organisations operating in England and Wales. Mandatory assessment against version 6 comes into effect from 1 May 2015 onwards. All Lexcel assessments up to and including 30 April 2015 will be against Lexcel v5 (now Lexcel International).
There are two versions to meet the needs of legal practices and in-house legal departments:
Practices located in foreign jurisdictions or based in England and Wales with independent offices overseas should apply for Lexcel International v5.
Achieving Lexcel accreditation requires the completion of the relevant self-assessment checklist, submission of an application form and subsequent assessment by an independent assessment body.
Accreditation is awarded for three years, with annual re-accreditation and monitoring visits to ensure continued compliance.
How to apply
Mandatory assessment against version 6 comes into effect from 1 May 2015 onwards. All Lexcel assessments up to and including 30 April 2015 will be against Lexcel v5 (now Lexcel International).
Step 1: Read Lexcel England and Wales v6 scheme rules plus the relevant Standard and guidance notes
Then complete the relevant self-assessment form to help determine any areas you should correct prior to your first assessment. You must be able to provide evidence that requirements have been in place for at least three months before the date of the first assessment.
You must select an assessor via one of our three approved assessment bodies (PDF 76kb). They are licensed by the Law Society which ensures that the process is independent, objective and maintains rigorous quality control. Each assessment body will be able to advise you on how an assessor is allocated. You will need to send your completed self-assessment checklist to your chosen assessment body prior to the assessment. This will help to identify areas that need correcting prior to assessment. You will need to provide the date of assessment on your application form.
Core Practice Management Standards (CPMS)
If you are already accredited against the Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) or the Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme (WIQS), you will already have met some of the CPMS that are required for Lexcel.
Download the comparison of Lexcel CPMS against CQS or WIQS (PDF)
Step 2: Complete the application form
Complete the application form (Word 468kb) and submit to us prior to your assessment. We will provide your chosen assessor with all relevant information from your application form.
Step 3: Select your payment method and return your application to us
An annual practice registration fee is payable, based on the number of fee earners/legal advisors, to the Law Society. See the Lexcel fees page for full details.
Assessment and award of accreditation
Only qualified assessors who have undergone Lexcel training are allowed to assess practices against Lexcel, which involves an on-site visit. The assessor determines whether your policies, procedures and plans meet the requirements.
The assessor will use the relevant case management checklist v6 to assess the file and case management of a firm.
They will also complete an assessment report v6 (Word 326kb) and possibly a corrective actions report (Word 309kb).
Including the pre-application preparation, it can take between two to six months to achieve accreditation.
Each assessment body charges a fee for the actual assessment and subsequent annual maintenance visits, based on day rates. The cost is dependent upon the total number of fee earners/legal advisors and support staff and the time required to complete the assessment based on our guidelines (PDF 70kb).
If you do not agree with the independent assessor's final report, you may appeal.
Read our appeals policy (PDF)
Read about our appeals panel members
Help and support
Go to training, publications and support for our training, published toolkits with templates, a comparison of Lexcel v6 against v5 and other quality standards, Lexcel CPMS compared to CPMS for CQS or WIQS, frequently asked questions and details of consulting support.
If you have any additional questions or feedback, please don't hesitate to contact the accreditation office:
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7320 5933