We were already familiar with Adele Warchester who had impressed us with her depth of knowledge and clarity on the matter. She identified practical ways to apply the Code to our practice, and her approach was both precise and patient.
SRA Standards and Regulations (STaRs)
The SRA Handbook has now been replaced with the STaRs. They reflect the high professional standards which must be at the heart of every solicitor’s practice.
Risk management, compliance and compliance officers are essential components of the Codes of Conduct for individuals and firms and the SRA enforcement strategy underpins the Rules. Don’t forget risk management is all pervasive and your internal controls should cover every area of your business.
Personal accountability is pivotal – you must be able to justify your decisions and actions. The firm’s policies and procedures must ensure that the compliance officers have all the tools they need to carry out their responsibilities.
A new version of Lexcel was launched at the end of November 2018
Lexcel is the Law Society’s practice management standard and is evidence of a well managed business offering excellent client care.
It is an invaluable tool to assess where you are in terms of risk management and where you need to be.
I am a Lexcel Accredited Consultant and offer consultancy services to guide you through the whole process and can arrange dummy audits so that you are ready for the actual assessment.
Conveyancing Quality Standard
The Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) provides a recognised quality standard for residential conveyancing practices. The accreditation establishes a level of credibility with stakeholders (regulators, lenders, insurers and consumers) and is compulsory for many bank and building society panel membership. I can help you with the whole process from start to finish.
The current Core Practice Management Standards and the Protocol can be accessed here: https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/support-services/accreditation/conveyancing-quality-scheme/apply/
“We first met Adele in November 2014 to commence our Lexcel accreditation, and agreed a twelve month timescale to make our application. Adele’s knowledge, application and understanding of our working methods was flawless through the whole process and allowed us to complete our application a month early. We were successfully accredited in December 2015, which is something we would not have achieved without Adele’s invaluable help through the entire process. I cannot recommend Adele highly enough”
Andy Carlile - Practice Manager - Bury Metropolitan Borough Council - Legal Services
“Adele provided us with invaluable expertise throughout the process of applying for Lexcel Accreditation. She gave clear advice as to the most recent changes and requirements of Lexcel and assisted us with the drafting of the necessary documentation, culminating with the application itself. All in all I believe her involvement made the process much easier for us to deal with and resulted in our achieving accreditation at the first attempt with no non compliances whatsoever. I am more than happy to recommend her services.”
Paul Ackroyd – Senior partner - A2 Solicitors LLP
Our thanks need to go to you in no small part for providing such a considerable amount of your time, assistance and direction to all of us and also your encouragement and guidance to Michael and I over the last three years or so, to have reached the position that we are at today. So thank you too, very much indeed. I shall not forget where you are and will continue to mention you as our excellent 'guru' when discussing Lexcel or office management issues and difficulties with colleagues, especially those in QS.
Graeme Burn, Managing Director & Solicitor, QualitySolicitors Burn and Co, York
“Thanks to Adèle I now feel that we not only meet the standards of the Lexcel accreditation, but the changes have brought a real improvement to the way that we do business.”
Simon Chiverton, Quality Partner, AH Brooks Solicitors, Leek
“We were recommended for accreditation at the first attempt and there is no doubt that this would not have been achieved without Adèle’s detailed knowledge of Lexcel and her organisational ability.”
John Ainley, Senior Partner, North Ainley Halliwell, Oldham
“As a practice undertaking residential conveyancing, it was important that we obtained the CQS accreditation. Adèle worked with us throughout the whole process, leaving us to focus on looking after our clients and earning fees. She has also provided guidance and assistance on a whole range of strategic and management issues along the way. Her input has been invaluable”
Maurice Mason, Senior Partner - Mason & Co
Alternative Business Structures
These allow external ownership of legal businesses and a much wider choice for lawyers and non lawyers to work together and share the management and control of their firms.
I can guide and direct you throughout, advising you on considerations prior to the application to the SRA, the authorisation process and all compliance matters post recognition.
I have written, designed and delivered a variety of public courses working in tandem with local law societies, specialist training providers and The Law Society. I also provide bespoke in-house training which is tailored to your firm. In addition I have attended as guest speaker for a number of management and quality conferences.
Sample courses delivered include:
- COLP and COFA training.
- OFR and Risk Management.
- OFR and the new Code of Conduct.
- Surviving a monitoring visit.
- Complaints handling and client care.
- The essential Office Procedures Manual.
- File audits.
- File and case management.
- Client Relationship Management.
I just wanted to send a quick follow up to say thanks for the training on OFR and the new Code of Conduct. Quite some topic to encapsulate and we felt we came away from the training with a much better understanding. I was even stopped in the car park this morning by two people also saying how much they enjoyed it, quite some feat.
Carole Jones, Express Solicitors, Manchester
Thank you for your well prepared and comprehensive OFR training sessions. These were well received and you communicated a dry and complex subject in an interesting and engaging way. The workshop element certainly makes sure those attending have an opportunity to tackle first hand some of the complexities OFR will bring.
Andrew Perry, Chief Operating Officer, SAS Daniels LLP, North West
Adele has delivered in-house training for a number of years now, including an insight into the 2007 Code, File Audits and OFR and the new Code of Conduct. Her courses have been delivered to our partners, fee earners and administrative staff and are well written, informative and strike the right note. The training is essential to us maintaining our Lexcel accreditation and risk awareness.”
Sharon Rumens, Quality Control Manager GLP Solicitors, Manchester
“This is one of the most useful and informative seminars I have ever attended.”
Simon Chiverton, Quality Partner, AH Brooks Solicitors, Leek
“Your course has hit the spot as always!”
Karen Bennett, Senior Partner, Bennett Smith Solicitors, Gwynedd
“Your presentation this afternoon on Risk Management was excellent”.
Christopher Cox, Managing Partner, Calnan Cox, Northamptonshire