Lexcel - the legal practice quality mark

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    When buying legal advice for a personal matter or on behalf of a business, it can be difficult to choose between the wide range of organisations on offer.

    Whether it is a law firm, bank or supermarket, you want to be able to judge the overall service you're likely to receive from a provider. Lexcel is the Law Society's legal practice quality mark promoting a quality management approach for client service and how to run a legal practice.

    What does Lexcel mean?

    Designed especially for providers of legal services, Lexcel sets out required rules and guidelines to help raise standards and promote a quality management approach for client service and how to manage a legal practice.

    In England and Wales, Lexcel is only available to legal providers that are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority. Law firms based overseas can also be accredited against the Lexcel International Standard.

    Why choose a Lexcel accredited practice?

    If you want peace of mind and reassurance when choosing a provider of legal services, look for Lexcel – the legal practice quality mark accredited by the Law Society.

    • Lexcel is a voluntary standard designed especially for the legal sector.
    • Lexcel sets out required rules and guidelines to raise standards and promote a quality management approach for client service and how to manage a legal practice.
    • Annual re-accreditation against the Lexcel Standard by independent assessors and mandatory training help ensure continued compliance and competence.

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    Rules for Lexcel accredited practices

    Below is a summary of some of the key rules that Lexcel accredited practices have to follow.

    Delivering the Lexcel management approach

    • Maintain up-to-date lists of legal work that will and will not be undertaken.
    • Assess risks in advising on a legal issue before work starts. Document the approach to providing legal advice - especially for complex projects.
    • Supervision of all internal legal work by a qualified person and procedures to check the quality of outsourced work.
    • Understand common risks and causes of claims in delivering advice.
    • Analyse all claims, issues, complaints arising from advice provided and take actions to correct and prevent future errors.
    • Collate and analyse client satisfaction data.
    • Undertake internal audits to assess legal advice given and management of work.
    • Effective policies, procedures and staff training to safeguard client data on emails, online accounts and private networks, etc.
    • Responsible financial management processes, including receiving and transferring client money and relevant money-laundering and mortgage fraud laws.
    • Effective processes to recruit staff, support learning and career progression.

    Delivering the Lexcel client service

    • Explain the process, the different options, costs and likely timescales to you.
    • Inform you if they do not have sufficient resources or expertise to provide advice.
    • Tell you the name of the person or people responsible for your matter and explain the advice that will be provided.
    • Keep you up to date using your preferred method of communication and ensure work progresses.
    • Tell you when unforeseen issues affect the original cost estimate and timeframe and explain the impact.
    • Tell you when the work is completed. Explain further action that may need to be taken and whether you are likely to need more advice in the future.
    • If you are dissatisfied, acknowledge your complaint, confirm how it will be handled and how long it will take to investigate.
    • Maintain a business continuity plan to identify, reduce or avoid risks that could lead to business interruption that is tested annually.

    Information for practices wishing to apply for Lexcel