How good would it feel to be able to say that as a firm you have all your file reviews up to date, corrective action signed off, trends identified, and training given where necessary?

Equally, how would it feel to be dealing with a professional negligence matter, rogue fee earner, the SRA, the SDT, all of which could have been avoided if an issue could have been identified through supervision, processes and file reviews.

File reviews are an essential tool within any law firm and when reframed from a negative into a positive, the benefits far outweigh the time taken to undertake them or the management time in dealing with any issues which have not been addressed.     The snowball effect can take over and before you know it, you are in a reactive state.

Undertaking file reviews, will act not just as a business tool, it will meet a number of requirements from the Handbook, ensuring compliance across the firm, benchmarking against KPI’s and will stand you in good stead when looking to achieve and maintain accreditations such as Lexcel, ISO, Investors in People.

Using file reviews as a tool will assist your firm in:

File reviews can be embedded into your case management system with workflows, which eliminates the administrative time taken in undertaking the review, reviewing the corrective action, identifying the trends.

Consider how you may be able to use your existing system to help you undertake this function of the business.

There is often a difficulty for firms undertaking “independent file reviews”.  This is generally down to the structure of the firm and who reviews who’s file.   Why not consider having this outsourced?   All files would be assessed in the same way, and the perceived burden would be eliminated.    Outsourcing file reviews is often more cost effective than your staff based on their hourly rates.

What should you be reviewing?

Check the Checkers

If file reviews are undertaking in house, have you considered whether you are reviewing the auditors?    This is an essential part of the file review process to ensure that nothing is being missed, trends are identified and to ensure that all reviews are being approached in the same way.

As an external consultancy, we are equipped in undertaking the file reviews, providing trend analysis, feedback to the managers of the firm and where required, providing 1 2 1 mentoring.

The value in file reviews is immense – why wouldn’t you ensure they are undertaken in your firm.

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