Quality counts…

Quality accreditation generates a mixed response from the profession. Some lawyers are extremely enthusiastic about the concept, citing their latest system for quality. Others yawn, regarding it as a money-spinner for the consultants.

However, as the Legal Aid Practitioners Group has rightly pointed out, a quality agenda has developed. It says the profession was "too slow off the mark" to recognise it in the late 1980s and that in the context of legal aid reforms, both Labour and Conservative governments will back suppliers who meet defined quality standards.

There is no doubt the demand for specialist services will push the quest for quality and that lawyers will need advice on how to achieve this. The Law Society has been working to raise awareness of quality issues. It is the prime way in which firms can differentiate their services.