An independent assessment of procedural compliance of your paper or digital case files. Compliance will be assessed against your processes, SRA Code of Conduct, OFR and any relevant Quality Standard such as LEXCEL, ISO 9001 or SQM. Client care should always be a priority so in addition to checking for client care letters, cost information, regarding costs, progress & outcomes, any apparent lapse in customer service will also be highlighted (e.g.: failing to respond to queries in a timely manner, not addressing clients concerns). The focus will be on checking for procedural compliance including risk management & financial procedures apparent on the file (billing, getting money on account, disbursements). A detailed report will be provided which will include guidance and recommendations on addressing non compliances and improving areas of weakness. Any areas of concern that are of a financial nature will be highlighted to both the COFA & COLP. Legal advice is not assessed however, due to knowledge & experience, there is the ability to spot areas of potential concern of the quality of legal work and this will be flagged up to the Compliance Officer (COLP) and the organisation. This is also applicable where a potential material breach becomes apparent.
One day is generally sufficient to provide a sampling of up to 20 (15 for CQS standard) reasonably sized files (no bigger than one lever arch file) at a single site. If the files are small, a larger sample will be tested. If a larger sample is required, additional days can be booked. Majority of clients use this service either monthly or quarterly as part of their file review process. Using an external reviewer is effective as it avoids internal reviewer complacency, competing priorities, perceived lack of time and lack of importance placed on reviews.
Benefits (not a comprehensive list)
- Supervisor can focus on fee earning & supervision of legal advice
- Unbiased external assessment devoid of internal politics, internal relationship, hierarchy influence
- Avoids ‘internal reviewer’ complacency
- Expertise in rules, regulatory requirements & standards
- Knowledge of relevant best practice to suit your organisation.
- No ‘papering over cracks’
- Assurance that ‘all is well” or not as the case may be – COLP/COFA will be kept informed
- Enables identification of concerns, areas of weakness & gaps
- Assists in highlighting procedurally weak fee earners and areas for development
- Helps finds ‘skeletons’ if any before regulators do
- No hidden agenda, negative findings will be referenced & evidenced
- Enables compliance & effective risk management
- Guidance & recommendations made to ensure effective compliance
- Good method of identifying & managing potential areas of risk
- keeps all staff including Supervisors/COLP & COFA on their toes!
- assurance that it will be completed on a regular basis
- meets LEXCEL/SQM requirements for file review
This service is charged at a daily rate of £600 + vat (single site visit)
Travel costs are payable for sites outside London & may include overnight accommodation if necessary.