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What do our Accreditations Mean?

LEGAL 500

For 33 years, The Legal 500 has been analysing the capabilities of law firms across the world, with a comprehensive research programme revised and updated every year to bring the most up-to-date vision of the global legal market. The Legal 500 assesses the strengths of law firms in over 150 jurisdictions.
The rankings are based on a series of criteria, they highlight the practice area teams who are providing the most cutting edge and innovative advice to corporate counsel. Our research is based on feedback from 300,000 clients worldwide, submissions from law firms and interviews with leading private practice lawyers, and a team of researchers who have unrivalled experience in the legal market.

NATIONAL PHARMACY ASSOCIATION (NPA)

As the leading UK-wide trade association for community pharmacy established in 1921, their purpose is to support all their members to succeed professionally and commercially for the benefit of their patients.
As NPA members we are trusted to ensure that the products and services we offer as a business partner is of the highest quality and at the best possible rates. We are one of only 2 or 3 partners in our sector who will help us support independent pharmacists every step of the way.
By partnering with the NPA we benefit from their reputation as a well-known and trusted organisation.

LEGAL AID AGENCY

Legal aid can help you pay for some or all of your legal costs. You may be able to get legal aid if you’re on a low income and your problem is serious. For example, you could get legal aid if:
  • you’re at risk of losing your home
  • you or your family are at risk of abuse or serious harm such as domestic violence
Some solicitors offer legal aid for certain types of cases.
Community care
You can get legal aid for:
  • advice about help or services from your local authority and the NHS because of illness, disability or mental capacity (including Court of Protection cases)
  • disputes about the quality of care in hospitals and residential or nursing homes
  • disputes about abuse or neglect issues
Criminal cases
All criminal cases qualify for legal aid, except for certain minor offences such as speeding.
Debt
You can get legal aid if:
  • you might lose your home due to outstanding payments on your mortgage
  • the person or company you owe money to is making you bankrupt
  • the person or company you owe money to is taking you to court to sell your home
Discrimination
You can get legal aid if you believe you’ve been unlawfully discriminated against.
Education
You can get legal aid if you disagree with a special educational needs decision about your child.
Family
You can get legal aid for:
  • applications for forced marriage protection orders
  • care cases – cases involving social services relating to children at risk, being taken into care or in care (parents and grandparents can be represented)
  • cases where your child has been or is about to be taken out of the UK without your consent
  • some High Court proceedings about the welfare of your child
  • family mediation, to resolve disputes about children and finance due to a relationship breakdown
  • an injunction (a court order) against a violent or abusive partner or family member
  • other family problems, such as advice on finances, children or divorce, if you or your child have suffered or are at risk of violence or abuse
  • if you’ve been served with proceedings under the “Hague Convention”
Housing
You can get legal aid for:
  • unlawful eviction
  • possession claims
  • antisocial behaviour cases
  • harassment injunctions (court orders)
  • taking legal action against your landlord for serious disrepair
  • homelessness, including asylum support for accommodation
Mental health and mental capacity
You can get legal aid for:
  • representation at mental health tribunals if you’re detained in hospital
  • advice if you’ve been sectioned (for Court of Protection cases and for appeals against deprivation of liberty safeguards)
Welfare benefits and council tax reduction
You can only get legal aid for appeals on a point of law to the:
  • Upper Tribunal
  • High Court
  • Court of Appeal
  • Supreme Court
Other cases
You can get legal aid for:
  • gang-related violence
  • cross-border disputes
  • confiscation proceedings
  • protection from harassment
  • advice on disabled facilities grants
  • nuisance caused by environmental pollution
  • civil claims for abuse and sexual assault allegations
  • assistance at inquests (but not representation unless exceptional case funding is obtained)
  • clinical negligence for children with brain injuries, if the injuries were caused in pregnancy, childbirth or up to eight weeks’ postnatal and have resulted in severe disability
  • an appeal against a decision stopping you from working with children and vulnerable adults
Whether you’ll get legal aid will depend on:
  • the type of case
  • your financial situation
Means testing works out if you’re financially eligible for legal aid. It means that the following are considered when deciding whether you can get legal aid:
  • income
  • family circumstances (such as number of children)
  • living costs (such as mortgage or rent)
There are two types of legal aid: for civil and for criminal cases.
All applications for legal aid for criminal cases are means tested. But some applications for legal aid for civil cases are not means tested, for example care cases and Mental Health Tribunal cases.
Civil cases
Civil (non-criminal) cases are often private disputes between people or disputes about government or local services. You can check if you’re eligible for civil legal aid on GOV.UK.
If you cannot get legal aid, you may still be able to get free legal advice.
Criminal cases
If you’re arrested and taken to a police station, legal advice is free. Ask the police to call the duty solicitor, or another named solicitor if you know one.
If you’re going to be interviewed by the police, it’s important that a solicitor is there to advise you before and during the interview.
Any legal advice or representation you need after you leave the police station is means tested.
Not everyone is able to get criminal legal aid, and in the Crown Court you may have to pay towards some or all of your legal costs.

RESOLUTION

Resolution is a membership organisation for family justice professionals committed to a non-confrontational approach.
Resolution is an association of over 6,500 family justice professionals in England and Wales, who believe in a constructive, non-confrontational approach to family matters. Resolution also campaigns for improvements to the family justice system.
Resolution supports the professional development of those working in family justice through their national and regional training opportunities, publications and good practice guides, and their specialist accreditation scheme. Resolution also trains and accredits mediators and is the only body providing training and support for collaborative lawyers in England and Wales.
As Resolution members we follow a Code of Practice that promotes a constructive approach to family issues and considers the needs of the whole family. Resolution is a community of family justice professionals who work with families and individuals to resolve issues in a constructive way.  All members sign-up to the Code of Practice and are expected to complete training about using it in their day-to-day work. Associate members support the Code and are encouraged to apply it in their work.
Resolution membership is about the approach we take to our work, this means that as Resolution members we will:
  • Reduce or manage any conflict and confrontation; for example, by not using inflammatory language.
  • Support and encourage families to put the best interests of any children first.
  • Act with honesty, integrity and objectivity.
  • Help clients understand and manage the potential long-term financial and emotional consequences of decisions.
  • Listen to and treat everyone with respect and without judgment.
  • Use our experience and knowledge to guide clients through the options available to them.
  • Continually develop our knowledge and skills
  • Use the Resolution Guides to Good Practice in our day-to-day work

WILLS & INHERITANCE QUALITY

The Law Society’s Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme Accreditation (WIQS) provides a best practice quality mark for wills and estate administration advice that consumers can trust.
The scheme sets client service standards to ensure transparency in process, costs and communications. It outlines required practices for will drafting, probate and estate administration to help address common risks, errors and inconsistencies that arise in delivering advice.
WIQS is designed for practices that are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and offer both wills and probate/estate administration advice.

CHILDREN LAW

The Law Society’s Children Law Accreditation covers all types of children law work.
As accredited members we have shown that we have achieved the required level of competence and knowledge, as defined by the Law Society in the area of children law and the representation of children.
The Children Law Accreditation provides a recognised quality standard for practitioners representing children in children law proceedings and is a means of identification for professionals such as guardians to identify suitably qualified practitioners when representation of a child is required.
The accreditation is designed for children law practitioners who are able to demonstrate awareness, knowledge and expertise in children law proceedings and the representation of children in such proceedings.
Only solicitors and chartered legal executives who are employed by a solicitor and hold the Rights of Audience Matrimonial Proceedings/Family Proceedings Certificate (or other appropriate advocacy qualification) awarded by the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx), may apply.

FAMILY LAW

The standards of competence that are expected of a member of the scheme Core areas Core areas of law are those which competent family lawyers and members of the Scheme are expected to have detailed working knowledge. The core areas of law are:
  • divorce, judicial separation and nullity
  • private Children Act proceedings
  • financial provisions disputes (including pensions), and including those concerning cohabitants
  • the Child Maintenance Service jurisdiction and powers of enforcement
  • the courts’ jurisdiction in domestic abuse matters (including between cohabitants)
  • forced marriage
  • emergency remedies and enforcement
  • impact of taxation and welfare benefits
  • impact of legal aid
  • the role and scope for mediation Non-core areas These are areas of law which could be regarded as specialist areas, of which applicants would need to have awareness and know where to get expert advice if necessary.
The noncore areas of law are:
  • adoption
  • child abduction
  • public law matters in Children Act proceedings

CONVEYANCING QUALITY

The Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) provides a recognised quality standard for residential conveyancing practices.
The process of buying and selling a home is probably the largest transaction that most people undertake in their lives. By obtaining CQS accreditation we are demonstrating that our practice has the skill and expertise to provide quality residential conveyancing advice, which may help to reassure clients that we are able to provide all the information they need to understand the process, options, costs and timescales from the outset.
Obtaining CQS accreditation also helps to provide access to the lender community and demonstrates that our firm is able to provide residential conveyancing advice of the level expected by clients, lenders and the wider residential conveyancing community.
We are proud to have achieved the standards of practice and integrity required to be accredited by the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme.
This scheme’s logo is your guarantee that our practice will provide you with a professional and quality conveyancing service in accordance with the scheme rules.

CRIMINAL LITIGATION

The Criminal Litigation Accreditation covers all types of criminal law work.
We have demonstrated through external examination that we have and will maintain a high level of knowledge, skills, experience and practice in the area of criminal litigation.

LEXCEL

Lexcel is the Law Society’s legal practice quality mark for practice management and client care. It helps firms to achieve excellence in compliance and practice management. Lexcel provides a flexible, supportive management framework to help practices develop consistent operational efficiencies and client services, manage risk effectively, reduce costs and promote profitability.
Lexcel sets the required Standard in seven different areas: structure and strategy, financial management, information management, people management, risk management, client care, file and case management.
Practices and organisations accredited against the Standard have the flexibility to implement procedures that are appropriate to their circumstances.

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