You are here:
  1. Home
  2. Support services
  3. Accreditation
  4. Lexcel
  5. Lexcel FAQs

Lexcel FAQs

This section contains frequently asked questions about the Lexcel legal practice quality mark.

What is Lexcel?

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. 

It provides a flexible, supportive management framework to promote a quality management approach and client service in how to run a legal practice. 

The framework helps practices and in-house legal departments develop consistent operational efficiencies and client services, manage risk effectively, reduce costs and promote profitability. It is the most appropriate Standard for the legal profession as it was written by solicitors for solicitors.

Back to top

Why should a legal practice apply for Lexcel?

Achieving Lexcel should benefit practices and in-house legal departments in a number of ways. Research and feedback from Lexcel-accredited practices has identified the following:

  • effective risk management leading to fewer claims or complaints
  • better customer service leading to increased client retention
  • potential for lower insurance premiums or favourable treatment from insurers
  • improved marketability and competitive advantage
  • greater success in tenders
  • a major step towards demonstrating best value compliance for local authorities
  • consistency of service from all solicitors and practice groups
  • help with new practice rules
  • increased profitability.

Back to top

Should sole practitioners apply for Lexcel?

Yes, Lexcel is appropriate for all types and sizes of practices. It is particularly important for sole practitioners as they are perhaps under the most pressure to work harder, faster and smarter. 

Lexcel Engand and Wales v6.1, for legal practices has guidance for sole practitioners as there are certain requirements that they do not need to do.

Back to top

Why is Lexcel popular with local government?

Lexcel has been well received as it helps them to implement the requirements of best value and continuous improvement.

Many of those who have achieved the Lexcel legal practice quality are from local authority legal departments. A guide for in-house legal practices has been created to highlight the different compliance implications.

Back to top

Why is Lexcel an effective risk management tool?

Lexcel is a good risk management tool as it covers all the main causes of claims against solicitors within the quality mark. In addition, it covers specific procedures for assessing and managing risk within your practice.

A toolkit has been published to help your firm formulate and implement appropriate procedures and policies to identify, mitigate and manage risk.

Purchase Lexcel Risk Management Toolkit

Back to top

How long does it take to achieve Lexcel?

This depends on how committed you are to achieving the award. Those practices who have concentrated on achieving Lexcel have done so in two to three months, though on average it is likely to take around six months.

Back to top  

What are the costs of Lexcel?

Achieving Lexcel will include costs for:

  • an annual registration fee to the Law Society
  • an assessment fee to the assessment body conducting the assessment.

See our fee page for full details.

See our duration of assessment and sample guidelines (PDF 71kb) to calculate the duration of a Lexcel assessment.

Lexcel can help minimise the time and money your practice or in-house legal department currently spends on dealing with complaints and claims.

Back to top

Do I need to use a consultant?

Most Lexcel-awarded practices and in-house legal departments did not use a consultant. 

Although you don't have to use a consultant you may find that it saves time and therefore money in the long run to do so. The list of assessors and consultants may help you to make this decision and to find a consultant local to your area.

Back to top

How does Lexcel compare to other quality standards?

Lexcel combines some elements of Investors in People, some elements of ISO 9001, and is a readily-translated quality standard for the legal profession.

If you have any other quality standards, such as the Legal Aid Agency's Specialist Quality Mark, ISO 9001 or Investors in People, then your assessment could take even less time and also cost less, since you will be allowed exemptions for any areas already covered.

Back to top

Does Lexcel involve a set of systems and procedures?

Lexcel does not specify the exact systems and procedures you must follow. Since all types and sizes of practices and in-house legal departments can apply, Lexcel specifies the areas which should be covered, but leaves you to implement whichever policy or procedure you prefer, making it very flexible.

Back to top

Has the Standard been revised recently?

Yes. Lexcel England and Wales v6.1 and Lexcel International v5.1  became mandatory from November 2018 when the Standard was revised to reflect the needs of the market. The two versions of Lexcel are as follows:

Lexcel England and Wales is divided into two versions to meet the needs of legal practices and in-house legal departments. These entities are defined as:

  • A law practice in the form of partnerships, limited liability partnerships, sole practitioners, incorporated law firms and alternative business structures (ABSs) authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).
  • An in-house legal department, including those in corporations, public sector (including ABSs), law centres, not-for-profit and government organisations.

Download the different standards:

Back to top

How is the Law Society promoting Lexcel?

The Law Society is keen to raise the profile of Lexcel, both among the profession and with buyers of legal services and the general public.

Raising the profile of Lexcel among potential clients and customers is achieved in a number of ways:

  • Find a Solicitor
    The Lexcel logo is shown against every accredited practice on the Law Society's Find a Solicitor website.
  • Back to top

    How do I get the new logos and branding for my practice?

    Accredited practices, assessors and consultants should contact us.

    Back to top

    My practice is not based in England or Wales, can we still become Lexcel accredited?

    Yes - Lexcel International v5.1 applies to international practices.

    Back to top

    How do I choose an assessor?

    You must select an assessment body (PDF 76kb). Assessments are carried out by one of three independent assessor bodies who are licensed by the Law Society. This ensures that the process is independent, objective and maintains rigorous quality control. 

    The assessment body will be able to advise you on how an assessor is allocated.

    Back to top