7th August 2020 – We are pleased to report that we have successfully concluded the Lexcel annual audit process again this year. This was a full review under the practice management standard as takes place every 3 years.
The entire process took place remotely this year due to COVID.
The firm scored one of its best assessment results ever.
There were no areas of major non-compliance at all.
There were 5 areas of minor non-compliance and 7 suggestions for best practice.
The auditor recognised no fewer than 17 areas of good practice.
These included:- our Annual Business Plan, which was praised in no fewer than 8 different aspects; our monthly management information reporting, including budgeting; our arrangements for home working and risk assessing files under COVID; the quality of our in-house training; and the successful conclusion of appraisals across the firm via Zoom during the COVID period.
There is also praise for our data protection procedures and publishing of equal opportunities and diversity data.
Fairweathers’ CEO Nick Fairweather commented:-
“The Lexcel accreditation with annual audit is a tasking process but a worthwhile one each year which maintains and invigorates our operating systems. It was a particular challenge to undertake a full 3 yearly review remotely this year, but one which I am pleased to say that both we and the auditor rose to. Indeed, in many ways, the whole process took place on a more efficient footing, particularly as regards documentation being provided in advance and the scheduling of well-prepared interviews that lost nothing though not being face-to-face. I think we are finding under COVID that many processes and procedures can be undertaken more efficiently remotely and in large measure that was the case for our audit. I am pleased that the Lexcel team, at the Law Society, from a very early stage, made it clear that they would be supporting Lexcel audits continuing during the pandemic”.