What is Lexcel?
Lexcel is The Law Society’s legal practice mark for quality.
It was first launched in 1998, and the accreditation is a sign of quality, showcasing a practice’s commitment to sound practice management, reassuring current and future clients that the firm is built on trust and integrity.
All legal practices in England and Wales are eligible to apply for Lexcel, regardless of size or the type of work carried out. This includes sole practitioners and local authority legal departments.
How do you get accredited?
There are several stages to the accreditation process.
- complete a self-assessment checklist for initial accreditation –
the checklist is designed to be used by any firm working towards Lexel accreditation, to help identify where there are gaps to be filled to meet the standard required.
- be assessed by a Lexel consultant after submission of the application form –
prior to the Covid 19 pandemic this process was completed on site however there are now three options:-
- Option 1: The whole review to be conducted remotely.
- Option 2: The review to be conducted in the traditional way, with onsite visits in person.
- Option 3: A hybrid review, where the assessor comes on site to review matter files and conducts remote interviews with selected staff.
What is a Lexcel consultant?
Consultants are Lexcel-trained and approved by the Law Society and have worked with law firms across the country to achieve excellence in compliance and practice management.
What do you have to show at Lexcel accreditation?
In brief this covers:
- client care – a policy covering client care is a must covering how enquiries are dealt with, the practice has competence to deal with the matter, protect confidentiality and ensure a timely response is made to all correspondence and telephone calls;
- risk management – there must be a risk management policy covering compliance, a risk register and risk management roles;
- people management – a practice must have policies in relation to health and safety, recruitment, complaints, diversity and equality, training of all personnel and procedures for reasonable adjustments;
- structure and strategy – a legal framework under which they operate and a management structure showing the responsibilities of individuals and their accountability;
- financial management – as you would expect this is a total record of income and expenditure;
- information management – a practice must have an information management and security policy; and
- file and case management – this is a procedure for the practice to follow regarding how the matter is run and overseen.
Once you’ve been awarded a Lexcel accreditation, a three-year assessment cycle commences. This is made up of:
- annual maintenance visits at the end of year one and year two;
- a full re-assessment at the end of year three.
The Kidwells Lexcel journey
Kidwells first opened its doors as a legal practice in 2008 and is very proud to have achieved Lexcel status on its first application and to continue to have done so every year since.
Our regular assessments by the Law Society provide you with the confidence you have made the right choice for your specialist legal services.