Legal Eye, a leading provider of best practice, risk management and compliance services to the legal services market, has today launched the Legal Eye Quality Standard.
Suitable for Solicitors, Licensed Conveyancers and providers of legal information services, the quality standard is the first assessment scheme to address those rules and regulations which are over and above the traditional quality standards. The standard is also available to firms in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
– The E-Commerce Directive,
– The Bribery Act 2010
– The Equality Act 2010
– Referral and Fee Sharing arrangements
– Publicity requirements
– TCF (Treating Customers Fairly)
– …and many more.
The Legal Eye team manages the assessment process through a simple, clearly defined process of health checks, fully documented audit trails and file reviews.
“We have been both astonished and very encouraged by the urgency with which firms of all sizes are embracing the compliance challenge. This isn’t only in England and Wales but also for firms in Northern Ireland and Scotland” says Jaunita Gobby, Director of Legal Eye.
“The quality standards out there do not individually meet all of the required elements and regulations that are required. We believe this leaves them exposed to significant financial, reputational and insurance risks. This quality standard is also available to Licensed Conveyancers and providers of legal information services which is great for them as they are not able to obtain accreditations for example Lexcel and CQS.“
As well as fully documented paperwork to satisfy audit requirements, firms receive official certification and marketing materials. It can also act as a positive contributor to controlling PI premiums through visibly evident, robust and documented risk management processes.
Leading law firms have already responded enthusiastically to the adoption of the new standard.
Says Stephen Coupland, Partner at Advantage Property Lawyers: "As a Licensed Conveyancing firm, Advantage Property Lawyers are unable to apply for Lexcel or CQS Accreditation. As a consequence its Directors instructed Legal Eye Ltd to carry out a full ‘on site’ audit of the firm focusing on ‘Best practice, Compliance and Risk Management’ in terms of the Lexcel quality standard. Legal Eye Ltd assessed APL’s processes and procedures against the Lexcel standard and the directors are delighted that they have achieved the Legal Eye Quality Standard."
The SRA have long been signaling a tightening of the policing regime and tough new penalties come into force in January 2013.
Jaunita added: “Travelling the length and breadth of the country, we have met firms who think they are fully compliant, but are missing major pieces of the compliance jigsaw. Large areas like The Bribery Act and compliance with the E-Commerce Directive are a crucial part of firms risk management policies and procedures. We have designed the scheme so that each piece is captured and falls into the right place"