Practices may be required to complete the reviews in order to satisfy the requirements of a quality standard such as the Law Society's Lexcel Standard or the Specialist Quality Mark. However, in addition to the vital role that file reviews play in terms of quality and regulatory compliance, the managerial benefits to a legal practice in conducting procedural and compliance file reviews can be significant.
The results of file reviews can provide vital information to managers about any additional supervisory and training needs of their fee earners. The results can also provide senior management or compliance officers with early indications of any possible compliance issues or breaches and enable to them to put steps in place to mitigate the consequences of any breach.
Undertaking file reviews on a routine basis can often be seen as an administrative headache and, commonly, this essential task falls by the wayside in favour of client work. In these circumstances, it may be beneficial to the practice to consider outsourcing the reviews.
How we can help
We offer an independent file review service whereby one of our consultants conducts a full procedural and compliance review of an agreed sample of case files. We will assess compliance against the SRA Standards and Regulations and, where relevant, the requirements of quality standards such as Lexcel or the SQM. Practices are provided with a detailed report on the results of the reviews together with guidance about client care issues and any potential regulatory or other breaches. Importantly, we also provide detailed guidance on what the practice needs to do in order to address those compliance issues. Whilst we do not assess the legal advice in the files, we are often able to pick up on potential areas of concern and will provide guidance to supervisors about how they can more effectively undertake and record any necessary reviews of the quality of the legal work undertaken.
We can visit your offices on a monthly or quarterly basis or carry out file reviews off-site as required and to suit the needs of the practice.