Specialist Quality Mark (SQM) Accreditation

Here at Marketing Lawyers, we specialise in providing regulatory and compliance services to the Legal Profession. We have the expertise and experience to support your quest for quality within law firms of all sizes.

We work with law firms to develop or amend quality management procedures as well as other relevant documentation setting out the legal framework under which a firm operates.

SQM is recognised by the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) as the main quality standard and an alternative standard to Lexcel for firms wishing to tender for a legal aid contract, meaning firms have the choice to rely on either Lexcel or SQM as part of their tender submission. It helps to ensure better client care and improves client retention and profitability.

Free initial discussion and quote

For a free initial discussion about our SQM accreditation service and for a no-obligation quote, please call us on 0115 8700443  or email info@marketinglawyers.co.uk

Our experienced consultants have worked in national law firms and are ex-board members. They will work with you and tailor a solution for your firm not only to attain the SQM Standard but can help with your wider risk framework as part of your compliance remit.

What is SQM?

All holders of a Legal Aid Contract are required to hold (or be in the process of achieving) the Specialist Quality Mark (SQM).

The SQM is designed to ensure that an organisation is well run and able to offer excellent client care. To certify that the quality of legal advice delivered is of a high standard, the SQM applies several principles that are closely linked to good quality advice including supervision and file review.

The SQM can be applied to any legal service operating at the Specialist level, including those receiving funding from sources such as the LAA, local authorities, charities, other public funding or private fees. By default, it is also good to have to further re-enforce confidence at the Solicitors Regulation Authority SRA, that you have good quality client care and risk management procedures in place.

If you are considering tendering for any future contracts, it is worth working towards the SQM quality standard early on, so reducing the amount of work at the tender stage, and also ensuring you have a standard in place to meet any required tender deadlines.

Our Services

We offer consultancy services to ensure that your organisation passes the SQM audit and/or maintains the quality mark. We assist all types of legal practices, in-house legal departments and other organisations and ensure that our services are tailored to the needs of the individual organisation.

As well as offering bespoke consultancy services, if needed, we can also offer a set plan, mock audit service with costs dependant on the size of your firm.

Our main services are:

  • SQM & Lexcel set up, templates and audit preparation
  • Contract tenders

How Much Will the Assessment Cost?

The cost and duration of your set up or assessment will be worked out based on the number of fee earners and support staff you have in your firm.

The Benefits of Attaining SQM

The main benefits of SQM include but are not limited to:

  • Enhanced risk management: Effective risk management can reduce the prospect of insurance claims being brought against the organisation.
  • Enhanced client care: Where effective client care and supervision procedures are in place, the risk of complaints from clients, including those reaching the Legal Complaints Service and related bodies, is greatly reduced.
  • Efficient management practices and reduced costs: Having effective management systems leads to a reduction in administrative failures, preventing wasted costs and poor service to clients.
  • Effective deployment of resources: When successful staff supervision, training, assessment and support are provided, staff motivation and morale will increase, and all staff will be working collaboratively to the same goal.
  • Increased client confidence: By carrying a recognised quality assurance standard, it instils confidence and establishes a commitment to the provision of quality services
  • Funder confidence: Funders, including the LAA, currently require certification to the Quality Mark to ensure that the services they fund meet minimum competency standards.

Our Expertise and Service

We can provide advice and solutions on all aspects of your progress from system design to assessment. We only ever work with legal practices and therefore, are wholly focussed specialists to the legal industry.

We have auditing experience with other quality systems such as the Lexcel which means that we know what makes an effective quality system. Our SQM accreditation service is designed towards working with you to build a system that works specifically for you.

Our packages are tailored and bespoke according to your firm’s current position, the level of support your firm needs and your budget.

We can also ensure that you retain that accreditation by keeping your firm up to date with relevant changes and ensuring that all personnel are aware of what is required of them.

In an ever-changing regulatory legal landscape, attaining SQM is a great benchmark to help differentiate your firm from your competitors even is you don’t hold a Legal Aid Contract and provides a consistent and quality risk framework which ensures optimum client care and excellent quality of service.

How to get in contact

For a free initial discussion about your requirements and to discuss the implications and benefits for your organisation including a no-obligation quote, please call us on 0115 8700443 or email info@marketinglawyers.co.uk