Wonderful service from start to finish.
As one of the leading law firms across the South, over the years we have earned many different accreditations showcasing our dedication to customer service, client care, and professionalism; but what do these accreditations actually mean to you, and how do they demonstrate that we can produce high quality legal work and achieve the best result for your personal or business life? Our accreditations are detailed below with further information on the expectations placed upon us.
Lexcel Quality Mark
Governing body Lexcel, which forms part of the Law Society, focuses on client care and practice management. As a firm, we are audited each year by Lexcel on seven different areas that encompass every aspect of how we work:
- client care,
- risk management,
- file and case management,
- people management,
- structure and strategy,
- information management and
- financial management.
Also part of the Law Society is the Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS), another mark we have achieved. In order to do this, we must demonstrate that we follow best practice, meet the highest levels of client service and technical expertise as well as satisfying lender, insurer and regulator requirements.
ISO 9001:2015 accreditation
Our quality management system is scrutinised during the audits for accreditation to this ISO standard (we currently hold ISO 9001:2008) and we are obliged to also follow any recommendations made by the auditor to ensure our clients receive the best possible service. We have to demonstrate that we are consistent with our delivery of legal services and that customer satisfaction is at the core of that delivery, all the time conforming to statutory and regulatory requirements.
Membership to LawNet is by invitation only, so our clients can be assured that as a member of LawNet we have been hand picked from other firms in the area. As one of 60 firms across the UK being a member of LawNet, we can offer a real benefit to our clients as we are part of a network of over 2,500 lawyers who are all dedicated to sharing expertise and best practice. Our client satisfaction questionnaires are run by LawNet and so is an important part of our membership. By using LawNet we are able to benchmark ourselves against other LawNet firms, and work to maintain our high levels of customer satisfaction.
At the end of 2014, we were successful in our application to be awarded Law Firm of the Year at the LawNet Awards as we were able to demonstrate our high achievements in strategy and business planning, client focus, people management, and financial performance. In 2015, Alexandra Savage was awarded with Young Lawyer of the Year due to her accomplishments in legal skills, business and practice development, relationship management and client care.
Resolution is a governing body of family lawyers and other professionals who strive for a non confrontational approach to family law proceedings. Being a member of Resolution is conditional to adherence to its codes of practice, which includes encouraging clients to put their differences aside to reach a fair compromise.
Head of the Family team, Sam Miles, is a member of Resolution and so ensures that the team abides to the practices of Resolution to provide consistent treatment of our clients across the firm. Claire Knight, Sarah Pennicott and Graeme Barclay are also members. Sam also an accredited Resolution trained family mediator, with Claire currently working towards her accreditation after receiving the same training, giving couples an opportunity to amicably resolve their issues before attending court.
Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) is a not for profit organisation which works to promote and develop expertise in the practise of personal injury law. They believe that victims deserve committed, well trained lawyers to support their first for justice. APIL recognise that seriously injured people can be some of the most vulnerable and therefore shouldn’t be taken advantage of. APIL Personal Injury lawyers are encouraged to develop their knowledge.
APIL are also devoted to campaigns that can make a real difference to the lives of those who have been injured, as well as to raise awareness to communities as a whole.
Andy Munden, Dan Thompson, Catriona Ralls and Deborah Foundling from our Personal Injury team are all members of APIL, meaning our clients can be sure of a high standard of competence and expertise in this area.
Law Society Personal Injury Accreditation Panel
Andy Munden is also a member of the Law Society Personal Injury Accreditation Panel. To apply for, and be accepted for membership, a solicitor or CILEx member must be able to demonstrate a consistent high level of understanding and knowledge, skills, experience and practice in personal injury. They must have been working in the industry and managing their own cases for at least 3 years in order to apply.
Employment Lawyers Association
The Employment Lawyers Association (ELA) works to promote the best practice of employment law, with a wide range of employment lawyers around the UK shaping employment law legislation. Sarah Whitemore, Howard Robson, Emma Kemp and Lisa Joyce of the Employment team are all members of the ELA and so have access to high quality training, a varied and full resource of legal practice documents and articles, as well as opportunities for personal and professional development.
Solicitors for the Elderly
Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) is a national organisation of lawyers, barristers and chartered legal executives who provide support for the elderly, their carers and family members up and down the country. Caroline Johnstone and Sue Nicholson from the Private Client team are both members of SFE, and to do so had to complete a unique qualification, the Older Client Care in Practice Award. This award provides training on additional skills they may need to work with vulnerable people and the elderly. As well as this training, they are also required to follow a strict code of practice ensuring their legal advice as their clients best interests at heart and any decisions they make are their own decisions.
Society of Trust and Estate
Caroline and Sue from our Private Client team are also members of Society of Trust and Estate (STEP), which focusses on professional development. Members are also required to abide by their Professional Code of Conduct, which dictates professional and ethical standards.
Ed Voller, Managing Partner, commented, “As a law firm we are in a position of trust with our clients and so we need to demonstrate we are able to work for them and achieve the best results possible. Earning our accreditations is important, but maintaining them is just as important as it means every day we are striving for the highest standards.”