Strategic focus and business planning. Lexcel creates a requirement to put processes in place so that all elements of the business are inextricably linked to its profitability through improved customer service, client retention, staff competence and operational considerations. This will lead to a reduction in costs to the bottom line, such as insurance premiums, complaints and poor staff retention.
Lexcel encourages departments to think as a whole rather than sitting in silos, by ensuring best practice is shared, trends are evaluated and new opportunities considered. It enhances lines of communication and reporting between departments ensures best practices are shared, and risk is reduced by early reporting of trends and mitigation measures and enables grasping of business opportunities through wider visibility.
It creates a better understanding of the need to operate efficiently in a commercial environment with everyone working in synch with each other.
It provides for an improved risk profile – operationally, strategically and from a regulatory perspective.
By ensuring annual reviews of data and trends, examining cause and remedy can lead to benefits including reduction of number and severity of complaints, increased client satisfaction and retention, identification of training and supervision needs and alignment with regulatory requirements.
File reviews and supervision are carried out more effectively to yield data which identifies trends as early as possible, measures competence and identifies development needs; informs risk profiling and targets supervision resources.
Procedures are enhanced and regularly reviewed to address updates in regulation and substantive legal content and changes to the operational/strategic status of the firm.
It leads to improved staff satisfaction and retention, and more profitable activity for firms, through improved inductions and post-induction monitoring, and focus on competency and development.
Regulatory alignment – many aspects of Lexcel standard share core themes with the SRA’s mandatory outcomes and indicative behaviours. Firms that take a thorough and consistent approach to Lexcel will have developed plans policies and procedures that should align with the SRA’s requirements and in the event of a visit by the SRA, would provide evidence of procedures and processes aimed at achieving compliance.
Service to clients is improved through enhanced evaluation/selection process of experts and counsel; clearer communication to clients through written, online and oral resources; a targeted focus on client feedback and client profiling, specific to the areas of law practiced by the business and sympathetic to the needs of the community or sector which it serves.
By Nicola Manning
Nicola undertakes consultancy work in compliance and practice management, including assisting practices to prepare themselves for the Lexcel initial assessment.
To discuss how Nicola could help your firm please contact Nicola on 07949 615 394.