Due to the nature of the legal industry and the amount of regulation, there are a host of accreditations and quality marks that operate across the industry. Whilst the aim of these kitemarks is to drive up standards across firms, applying for them can be time-consuming and challenging, and then maintaining them and adhering to the requirements, a further challenge.
We provide an additional experienced resource that takes away some of the routine work for senior managers, Partners and Directors, applying our expertise to the applications and supporting documentation required to achieve the accreditation or quality mark.
This can provide invaluable support to a firm and expedite the obtaining, maintenance, compliance, and operation of the quality mark. These accreditations require attention on an ongoing basis, as Standards and Guidance evolves, and the requirements of the scheme change.
At The Strategic Partner, we work with firms to manage the preparation, application process and renewal process for their chosen kitemarks, identifying gaps in the firm’s policies, processes and procedures which will prevent successful achievement of the quality standard required.
We acknowledge that certain quality marks are essential for firms, which is why we work hard to ensure you attain them quickly and just as importantly, retain them.
Law Firm Compliance
There are various accreditations and quality kitemarks across the market that require attention on an ongoing basis. At The Strategic Partner, we work with firms to manage their regulation with the SRA, through to the preparation, application and control of the required standards to meet the quality kitemarks.
Our services are all charged on either fixed fees or on a timely basis, all of which will be agreed upfront for the service required.
All services we provide will include:
- Completion of any application, be that a new application or for renewal
- Development and maintenance of policies and procedures that are in line with the firm’s requirements and the Standard of the relevant quality mark.
- Preparation for audits and assessments on an annual basis
- Provision of auditing solutions and reporting on such audits
- Liaison with the body to oversee assessments
- Reporting to the Partners/Directors on any issues as they arise
- Provision of solutions to overcome the issues.
The solutions we provide are either a complete outsource and maintenance programme or project-based assistance, as required.
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Accreditation and Quality Marks – How We Can Help
- SRA Applications – Managing any new application resulting from a change in the firm, be that a change to the overall structure or to personnel, including compliance officers such as the COLP, COFA, MLRO, etc. It is essential when making changes with the SRA to ensure each form or application is completed correctly with appropriate documentation attached to prevent delays. We will work with firms to minimise any issues in their application.
- Lexcel – Working with firms to prepare for their Lexcel assessments, including the updating of processes and systems to ensure the firm is responding to the changing needs of the industry and of the required Quality Standard.
This work is undertaken either on an ongoing basis through auditing and control or as a one-off project-based task to assess requirements for changes, assist with the completion of renewal forms and provide/collate the required information to prepare for an assessment.
Often a time-consuming task and one that diverts valuable experience and fee earning time, the TSP Service steps in to help the firm maintain its quality kitemark, including the completion of necessary applications and the management of any onsite audits.
- Specialty Quality Mark (SQM) – For firms that have chosen the SQM kitemark, which is often for the maintenance of a Legal Aid contract, we support the firm to ensure the SQM Quality Standard is maintained and that the firm passes its renewal audits. We understand the financial impact that the loss of the SQM Standard and accordingly legal aid contracts will have upon a firm and the level of attention to detail required to pass successfully.
- CQS/WIQS – In much the same way as for Lexcel and SQM, The Strategic Partner will work with firms to provide the needed resources and expertise to maintain and renew these kitemarks, including the management of any assessments, completion of applications and updates to applications.
We are fully aware of the requirements of each of these kitemarks and how firms should act to ensure they maintain them throughout the provision of legal services.
Our focus is to provide firms with the necessary resources and expertise to control and maintain all regulatory requirements and quality kitemarks.
Our regulation and compliance solutions provide a cost-effective way of managing the requirements of the SRA and quality kitemarks providers, and all services provide an ongoing support solution throughout the year. You can view details of each solution by clicking the links below: