All Lexcel assessments up to and including 30 April 2015 will be against Lexcel v5 (now Lexcel International). From 1 May all assessments for England and Wales practices and in-house legal departments will be against Lexcel v6.
Lexcel International v5 is for practices located in foreign jurisdictions or based in England and Wales with independent offices overseas.
Achieving Lexcel accreditation requires the completion of the self-assessment checklist for v5, 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
Step 1: Read Lexcel scheme rules (PDF) and Standard for Lexcel International v5 (PDF)
Complete the self-assessment checklist for v5 (Word) to help determine any areas you should correct prior to 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 form (Word) 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.
Step 2: Complete the application form
Complete the application form (Word 1.26mb) 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 / in-house department 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 the Standard, which involves an on-site visit. The assessor determines whether your policies, procedures and plans meet the requirements.
The assessor will use the case management checklist v5 (Word 156kb) to assess the file and case management of a firm. They will also complete an assessment report v5 (Word 128kb) and possibly a corrective actions report v5 (Word 119kb).
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).
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, our analysis on overlaps with other quality standards, free guidance notes, 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