The Lexcel Client Care Toolkit announces itself to be practical and aimed at assisting solicitors with their day-to-day work. It contains a range of template client care policies to help achieve best practice (with or without Lexcel accreditation). And it does all of this rather well.

No matter how good one’s client care might be, much can be learned from this handy book and accompanying CD-ROM, enabling customisation of the various documents as required.

A high-quality service is the minimum clients expect. When asked to define service, clients mention accessibility, value for money and helpful support staff. The opening chapter of the book refers to this and the importance of managing client expectations, agreeing costs, timescale and levels of service. It also floats the all-too-true proposition: aren’t there some clients you should not take on?

The third edition of this toolkit has been comprehensively revised and updated. It includes an expanded chapter on delivering and improving client care, plus revised client care standard letter paragraphs for conveyancing, employment, litigation and family.

Authors: Vicky Ling, Fiona Westwood

£59.95, the Law Society

New chapters focus on SRA and Lexcel 6 compliance, as well as on SRA competences for client care in view of accredited CPD training ceasing to exist this November. There are also new sections on equality and diversity, and a checklist for delivering accessible services.

The chapter entitled ‘Complaints: avoiding and handling’ has a specimen risk assessment checklist and sample clauses. Case studies on this, and other aspects, pepper the book.

For those thinking of accreditation under Lexcel, the Law Society’s legal practice quality mark, there are case management and self-assessment checklists which may help with that too.

Tony Roe is a family law arbitrator and principal of Tony Roe Divorce & Family Law Solicitors, Theale, Reading. He is also a member of the Law Society’s Family Section and Small Firms Division committees.