THE LawNet group has announced strict new standards and threatens to expel member firms who fail to meet them.
The group, set up in 1989 by chief executive Simon Maddox, has spent the past year bringing its 78 members up to the quality service standard. "Our quality standard is equivalent in commitment to BS5750, but is specifically designed to be relevant in the context of legal services," he says.
"We will expel members who do not meet the standard. If they ask for help, we will give it to them, but we will not hesitate to take action to protect our reputation," says Maddox. Each firm will be audited every other year on behalf of the membership.
He adds: "Clients are assured of consistently high quality delivered locally, so we can confidently claim that LawNet solicitors provide better service and value throughout the country."
The group is now almost closed to membership in England and Wales, although there is room for one or two firms to fill gaps in North-ampton and Kent.
Talks are currently taking place with firms in Scotland over the formation of a Scottish sub-group.
LawNet started out with five members but now has 78, which have 2,100 fee-earners and 29 specialist units.