Lexcel Consultancy
Lexcel Consultancy

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Risk & Compliance Services
Risk & Compliance Services

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Award Accreditation Tender Application Assistance
Award Accreditation Tender Application Assistance

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Lexcel Consultancy
Lexcel Consultancy

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SERVICES

All consultancy services are available on an ad hoc, retained or project basis.
Call or email to discuss your individual requirements

CONVEYANCING QUALITY SCHEME (CQS) CONSULTANCY

The Law Society CQS scheme changed significantly in May 2019 and is no longer a paper based accreditation scheme. The new regime includes proactive and reactive assessment selection by The Law Society with the process including both a desk based assessment and/or a full onsite assessment. Assessments commenced being undertaken nationwide in November 2019 and are set to continue.

Tracy was appointed Lead Assessor for CQS in early 2019 and in addition to assessing conveyancing practices, is able to provide consultancy services to the legal sector to assit them in preparing for the assessment should they be selected.

Timescales for providing key policies and procedures to The Law Society once selected for assessment are extremely tight so firms need to be prepared and proactive in ensuring they meet, and are able to evidence, the requirements of the Core Practice Management Standard on a few days notice.

CQS services available are:

  • An initial gap analysis can be undertaken and a report provided to advise on the steps required to implement the standard

  • A regular visit/hand holding approach can be offered to firms who intend to develop the policies and procedures themselves which are required prior to assessment

  • A full on site development and implementation programme is available to those firms who chose to outsource the project

In addition to assisting with the preparation of bespoke policies, plans and procedures to enable a firm to demonstrate compliance with the CQS standard, Tracy is also experienced in assisting practices with developing and managing key elements of those policies such as;

  • The development of the firms Anti Money Laundering Regulation 18 Firmwide Risk Assessment.

  • Undertaking Residential Conveyancing File Reviews to actively monitor the conveyancing departments compliance with both the Core Practice Management Standard and the Conveyancing Protocols (2019)

  • Acting as the firms Independent Anti Money Laundering audit function to provide the firm with a truly independent critical assessment of whether AML procedures are being correctly followed in practice.

  • Providing an in-house training function to ensure all relevant personnel in the residential conveyancing department understand their obligations under the Core Practice Management Standard and the Conveyancing Protocols as required under the CPMS

Tracy is experienced in, and also able to advise on the CQS application process and support you in being able to submit the very best possible application to The Law Society

LEXCEL CONSULTANCY

Have you made a claim and want to improve your risk profile? Or want to grow your business?

CQS accredited and want to take those final steps to achieving Lexcel?

Are you considering implementing Lexcel but don’t know where to start, or don’t have the internal skills to deal with implementation? Tracy Thompson Associates can help.

Experienced at developing and implementing  the policies, plans, procedures and processes required to achieve Lexcel, if you desire a well-managed, efficient and profitable business, then call for a no obligation chat to ascertain the individual requirements for your practice to achieve accreditation.


Tracy Thompson Associates provide three levels of support and assistance with achieving Lexcel;

  • An initial gap analysis can be undertaken and a report provided to advise on the steps required to implement the standard

  • A regular visit/hand holding approach can be offered to firms who intend to develop the policies and procedures themselves which are required prior to assessment

  • A full on site development and implementation programme is available to those firms who chose to outsource the project

The costs of achieving Lexcel are dependent on the size of the practice and the scope of the project depending on current compliance status.

Additionally, a soft assessment service is available for practices who require confirmation of being ready for assessment prior to submitting their application for assessment to the Law Society.

Assistance is also available with CQS and WIQS applications.

RISK & COMPLIANCE SERVICES

When completing your professional indemnity insurance proposal forms, do you rush through them at the last minute just giving the basic requisite information in the hope you receive an offer of terms? 


Before completing your proposal forms, to enable you to achieve the best terms from the most insurers, it would be prudent to consider the risks within your practice. Everything you do now, have done in recent years, how you manage the practice and who you employ, for example, will all affect your risk profile.


Risks cannot be removed, but they can be mitigated.


As the legal indemnity insurance industry continues to be selective in their offers of terms, practices need to thoroughly evaluate and improve their risk profile carefully to ensure they remain insurable and as such Tracy Thompson Associates are able to undertake a full risk analysis, advice and recommendation service to you so you can evidence actions taken to mitigate the risks to ensure your practice is best placed to receive the best terms from as many qualifying insurers as possible.


Tracy Thompson Associates can also provide essential regulatory compliance support to ensure compliance with the SRA Code of Conduct by undertaking a bespoke compliance assessment with a comprehensive report of findings and recommendations for any remedial actions required. Help and Assistance with producing a compliance plan is also available.

AWARD, ACCREDITATION & TENDER APPLICATION ASSISTANCE

Do you have ambitions to become an award winning firm but aren’t sure how to write an award application or what information to include. Tracy Thompson boasts an inarguable record in writing successful award applications leading to numerous shortlisting and wins for firms in both regional awards and national awards such as the Law Society Excellence Awards and Jordans Family Law Awards.


Tracy has an exemplary record in writing successful Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 applications which improves the profile of your practice and key personnel.


Tracy is also able to advise and assist with tender applications to ensure they are submitted in accordance with the key criteria, error free, portray your practice to its best potential, and perhaps most importantly, include demonstrable evidence of your key claims.

BUSINESS PLANNING & STRATEGY

Whether you are an established practice or looking to set one up, comprehensive business planning is imperative to enable you to set your objectives and achieve them.

With increased threats to the legal industry such as competition from ABS’s, organisations with large marketing budgets, increasing costs of indemnity insurance, Legal Aid cuts, reforms in personal injury and restrictive mortgage lender panel selections, law firms find themselves needing to have robust  business plans in place to ensure their future sustainability.

Tracy Thompson Associates is able to assist with a full range of business planning services such as:

  • Independent business analysis and recommendation

  • Facilitation of partner business planning meetings and retreats

  • Development of realistic strategic corporate business plans

  • Financial/profitability analysis and recommendation

  • Process management analysis and advice to improve efficiency

  • Change management and restructuring assistance

  • Professional mentoring

  • Specific project management services


Assistance is also available in relation to learning & development planning and health & safety risk assessments if required by your insurer.

INTERNAL AUDITING

If your practice is Lexcel accredited, you will be familiar with the concept of undertaking fee earner file reviews. These are quite often neglected or left to the last minute due to time constraints and more pressing client demands on the time of supervisors, heads of departments and partners. Even if your practice is not Lexcel accredited the SRA Code of Conduct requires you to provide a proper standard of service to your clients and imposes obligations in relation to the management and supervision of your practice. Undertaking adequate file reviews assist with achieving these objectives.


Tracy Thompson Associates can attend your premises to conduct file reviews in person with a brief report provided on completion identifying any areas of risk or none compliance together with details of corrective actions required. A report will also be provided in relation to any particular trend within the practice with suggested remedial action advice.

PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY INSURANCE APPLICATION ASSISTANCE

Do you find yourself dreading that time of year when your professional indemnity insurance renewal is due?  Your insurer or broker requires pages and pages of information which is required to be, not only extracted, but then disseminated to the insurer in a positive way to procure the best renewal terms. And then there are the other three proposal forms to complete, each of which requires slightly different information …


Tracy Thompson Associates can assist with this task, which is far from administrative. Get this wrong and you could find your practice in a situation where insurance costs become prohibitive, or worse, insurance terms aren’t being offered at all.

MARKETING STRATEGY

When you decide which marketing activities to undertake within your practice, do you research your target market; know who your potential clients are, where they go, what they read or listen to? Or do you just agree to advertise with the latest publisher’s sales caller because it seems like a good idea?


Quite often marketing planning is not given the importance which it deserves. Clients no longer have the same loyalty to service providers as they once didand they choose services in very different ways. A robust marketing plan is imperative if your practice is to compete in an ever changing legal marketplace.


Tracy Thompson Associates can work with your partners and heads of departments to identify their target markets and produce a comprehensive marketing plan which sits within your desired budget. Help and advice can also be given with specific marketing collateral concept, design and production.