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Lexcel is the Law Society’s best practice standard for how law firms should be managed. Accredited law firms undergo rigorous independent assessment every year to ensure they meet required levels of excellence in client care and consistently high quality of service. Only those firms that have been awarded this prestigious Lexcel Quality Mark are authorised to use the Lexcel logo.
In the first instance, a law firm must have proper structures and policies in place, including documentation setting out the legal framework under which they operate. They must have a risk management strategy or framework, a quality system, and documented procedures for data protection and for the health and safety of partners, staff and visitors to the practice. There is also a requirement that arrangements for clients to visit offices, including reception, directions and car-parking are properly organised.
Additional requirements affect the internal management of the firm. These cover provision of services, marketing activities, financial management and use of IT facilities. Lexcel accreditation also focuses on people management, requiring a plan for recruiting, development and welfare of their personnel. This complements Holmes & Hills LLP’ Investors in People accreditation.
What it means for clients
The Lexcel accreditation recognises our focus on client care and customer service. We have a documented policy for client care which includes our commitment to provide services to clients in an appropriate manner. Our Terms of Business are supplied at the start of any proposal to offer our services, along with information on how charges are calculated; this will normally include our best estimate of the likely overall costs and the time the work is expected to take.
We inform our clients of who will deal with their affairs, including their name and status of the person performing the work and the person responsible for overall supervision of the matter. We also offer details of what to do in the event of dissatisfaction with legal services delivered and the name of the person to contact should this arise.
We operate a written complaints handling procedure that is immediately accessible to clients should they wish to use to it. In the rare event of a complaint, we aim to respond in an honest and transparent manner. Records are kept of all complaints to assist management and identify changes required in the running of the firm.
What it means for Holmes & Hills LLP
The Lexcel award is formal recognition of the way in which we manage our work, placing emphasis on our clients and always acting in their best interests. It reflects rigorous and thorough in-house systems that enable us to provide a superior service to our clients.
When the award was made, Law Society President Paul Marsh commented:
‘By successfully gaining Lexcel accreditation, Holmes & Hills LLP is proving their commitment to delivering a high quality service. The Law Society’s Lexcel standard is a prestigious achievement for any practice. Clients can feel reassured that they will receive a service which is first class, committed, focused and businesslike.’