How to apply for Lexcel England and Wales (v6.1)
Lexcel is our legal practice quality mark for client care, compliance and practice management.
Lexcel v6.1 is for practices and organisations operating in England and Wales. It’s divided into two versions for:
- legal practices – partnerships, limited liability partnerships, sole practitioners, incorporated law firms and alternative business structures (ABSs) regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority
- in-house legal departments – including those in corporations, the public sector (including ABSs), law centres, not-for-profits and government organisations
To apply for accreditation, you'll need to:
- complete a self-assessment checklist for initial accreditation
- submit the application form
- be assessed by an independent body
Accreditation is awarded for three years, with annual re-accreditation and monitoring visits to ensure continued compliance.
It can take around six months to become accredited.
Step one: Read the guidance
Before you begin your application, read the Lexcel v6.1 scheme rules (PDF 356 KB).
If you’re applying for a legal practice, you should also read the:
- Lexcel Standard for legal practices in England and Wales (PDF 423 KB)
- guidance for legal practices (PDF 668 KB)
If you’re applying for an in-house legal department, you should also read the:
- Lexcel Standard for in-house departments in England and Wales (PDF 429 KB)
- guidance for in-house practices (PDF 631 KB)
You’ll already meet some of the Core Practice Management Standards (CPMS) required for Lexcel if your practice is accredited under either the:
- Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS)
- Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme (WIQS)
Step two: Complete the self-assessment checklist
Complete a self-assessment checklist to help determine any areas you should correct before your first assessment:
- self-assessment checklist for legal practices (Word 478 KB)
- self-assessment checklist for in-house legal departments (Word 476 KB)
You must be able to provide evidence that the requirements in the Lexcel Standard have been in place for at least three months before the date of the first assessment.
Step three: Choose an assessment body
You’ll be allocated an assessor through one of our approved assessment bodies. They’re licensed by us, which ensures that the process is independent and objective.
Contact the assessment body for more information on how an assessor is allocated.
Step four: Submit your checklist
Send your completed self-assessment checklist to your chosen assessment body. This will help to identify any areas that need correcting before your assessment.
Step five: Complete the application form
Complete the application form (Word 468 KB) and submit it to us at least six weeks before your assessment date.
You’ll need to provide the date of the assessment on your application form.
We’ll provide your assessment body with all relevant information from your application form.
Step six: Pay the application fee
An annual fee is payable, based on the number of fee earners/legal advisers.
When we receive your application form, we'll invoice you for the registration fee.
Step seven: Assessment
Your assessor will visit your practice to determine whether your policies, procedures and plans meet the requirements for Lexcel.
They’ll use the case management checklist to assess the file and case management of your practice:
- case management checklist - legal practices (Word 326 KB)
- case management checklist - in-house legal departments (Word 326 KB)
Your assessor will complete an assessment report v6.1 (Word 326 KB).
Your assessor will complete a correction action report (Word 309 KB) if you do not comply with the Lexcel Standard.
Step eight: Pay the assessment fee
Each assessment body charges a day rate fee for the assessment that follows our guidelines (PDF 70 KB). The cost is calculated based on several factors, including the:
- total number of fee earners/legal advisers and support staff
- preparation and reporting writing time
- type of assessment being undertaken
Step nine: Accreditation
We’ll assess and review your practice’s application.
We’ll let you know the outcome of your application once we’ve received your registration fee.
If you do not agree with the assessor's final report, you may appeal against the decision.
Call: 020 7320 5933
Opening hours: 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday