Our checklists are useful for making sure you get the basics right.

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  • Has the client been advised about progress and the strengths and weaknesses of their case?
  • Has this assessment been recorded on the file and sent to the client?
  • Has the client been provided with an opportunity to review key documentation and a record made on the file?
  • Do fee earners keep a list of all active matters and record when each file was last reviewed to show how a matter is progressed and whether any action was required?
  • Have you recorded that incoming post or key documentation has been checked or that a case review has happened?
  • How are court/tribunal directions recorded and are these dates visible to other members of the team including supervisors?
  • Are all clients given receipts, especially when payments are made in cash?
  • Have you checked whether your arrangements for conducting online hearings are suitable and appropriate?
  • Do you assess, and then record, whether a client is vulnerable?
  • Is your supervision structure (for both employees and external consultants) effective?
  • Are supervisors competent and accessible?
  • If you use consultants, how is their work supervised and would you have access to their files if they were unavailable?
  • How do the firm and fee earners show that supervision has taken place?
  • What background checks have you carried out on staff?
  • Do all your fee earners have an up-to-date training record?
  • Do your files accurately reflect everything that has happened on a matter?

Supervision - audits

  • Does the firm have an audit system in place?
  • Does everybody understand the purpose of an audit function?
  • Does the fee earner see a copy of the audit so any recommendations or actions can be taken?
  • Consider the frequency of your audits, the type of file which is reviewed (open, closed or archived) and what is reviewed during the audit.
  • Is your complaints information up to date?
  • Does your complaints information include everything required by our rules?
  • Does your complaints information make it clear that there will be no legal repercussions or detriment to the client or the matter if the client makes a complaint (for example details will not be passed to the Home Office)?
  • Do you tell clients that any complaint will be handled confidentially and not disclosed to any third party?
  • How and when can clients provide feedback?
  • Have you reported any serious misconduct you have come across by another firm/solicitor to us?
  • Have you made sure everyone in your firm is aware of the obligation to report regulatory breaches to us and that they know how to do so?