Simpson Millar LLP hit the 10 year Lexcel milestone


On Monday 25 August, national law firm Simpson Millar LLP celebrated 10 years of Lexcel accreditation after having been the first ever private practice to receive the now popular quality endorsement.

Simpson Millar LLP picked up the accreditation in 1998 when the quality mark was first introduced by the Law Society of England and Wales. It is awarded to law firms which can demonstrate that they conduct their practice according to the Law Society's practice management standards.

Every year, law firms that wish to obtain or renew their Lexcel accredited status are submitted to a rigorous independent assessment which ensures they meet the highest standards in areas such as customer care, case management and risk management.

Paul Marsh, President of the Law Society offered his congratulations:

"Gaining Lexcel accreditation is quite a feat, but to achieve it 10 times is an extraordinary achievement. Simpson Millar LLP not only provides a quality service to clients, it is also a business operating at the highest standard. These are vital ingredients for securing Lexcel accreditation. Simpson Millar LLP have clearly got into the habit of providing a first rate service. Here's to another 10 years."

Simpson Millar’s managing partner, Peter Watson who guided the firm through its initial assessment in 1998 said:

"As a firm we have come a long way since the day we first received Lexcel accreditation but our formula for success remains the same; to be an ambitious and forward thinking law firm which provides quality and competitive legal services within an environment that is both friendly and professional for staff and clients alike."

“We are currently looking to implement a significant growth strategy which involves acquisitions and recruitment on a large scale. By 2010 our aim is to be a top 100 UK law firm."

Mr Watson added:

“The task of adopting the principles of Lexcel brought with it a significant change to the firm’s culture. Getting positive results for our clients was no longer enough – we had to ensure that we employed the correct processes and procedures along the way. The days of simply ‘getting on with it’ were numbered."

“Adoption of Lexcel required the development and implementation of new processes and procedures throughout the entire business – something which had huge benefits to the firm and our clients."

“The real value in the Lexcel accreditation however is in the ongoing, independent assessment which serves as an irresistible force for discipline. Nothing encourages adherence like the annual visit from our very pleasant but meticulous Lexcel assessor.”

"Craig Jones, partner and Operations Director at Simpson Millar LLP added:

“Having Lexcel accreditation has offered enormous status and recognition generally and especially during tender processes. The process of tendering for work from institutional referrers is growing in importance - a trend which is highly likely to increase rapidly after the full introduction of the provisions of the Legal Services Act. Lexcel accreditation provides independent, external evidence of many of the attributes that any aspiring legal services provider will have to demonstrate in order to survive in a market which is set to consolidate and where competition is increasing.”

“There is no doubt that the processes and procedures that Lexcel requires coupled with the discipline it imposes has led to a more uniform approach and increased standardisation throughout our business. Undoubtedly this has reduced the risks and consequently improved Simpson Millar LLP’s performance in the eyes of our professional indemnity insurers as evidenced by the cost of our PI insurance cover over the years.

“We believe that the PII industry will pay further attention to the presence or otherwise of Lexcel accreditation as will other relevant insurances like those offered by the Solicitors Defence Service. "

“With 10 years of Lexcel under our belts, the standard is today helping us capitalise on the opportunities presented by the Legal Services Act and face the challenges to come in the years ahead.”

Note: All Lexcel accredited practices have been assessed to provide the following:
  • Commitment from all staff towards delivering enhanced customer care and regular updates for all clients on progress, cost and timescales
  • On-going consideration by the practice to the services to be provided to clients
  • Commitment towards the supervision of all staff within the practice to ensure that mistakes are at a minimum
  • A well managed legal practice

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