Friday, 29 February 2008

Top quality ratings for Martin-Kaye

We're officially celebrating after being successfully re-accredited for two of the toughest quality standards in the business world.

Our firm faced an in-depth three-day review at our offices where more than 30 partners and staff were interviewed, and now we've been officially recognised as an Investor in People for another three years, and been re-accredited with the Law Society’s Lexcel Practice Management standard.

Managing Partner, Andrew Green, said: “We’re delighted to have successfully retained our status in both programmes, and it’s testimony to the hard work and dedication our staff put in on a daily basis.”

The assessors from the West Midlands Quality Centre who visited us were impressed with the company’s culture of “openness, support, advice and encouragement”. They said this culture, coupled with sound communication channels, had a significant impact on the firm’s work towards both quality standards.

“There is no doubt that everyone in the firm, led by the partners, is committed to providing an exceptional level of client care, and that the disciplines required to maintain Lexcel accreditation are perceived as a benefit rather than a hindrance.

“Sound supervision and matter running procedures are helping to reduce or contain potential risks to the firm, and the Partners have clear strategies for further expansion of the business. There continues to be a very strong culture of support and advice among all staff and the new office premises provide an excellent working environment. Many interviewees described the culture in the firm as ‘relaxed and friendly whilst being professional’.”

The assessors also praised Martin-Kaye for their commitment to continuously updating the ICT capability of the firm, to maximise efficiencies and client care, and for the opportunities given to staff to involve them in the development of the practice.

In good hands?

If you're an employer leaving your staff in charge while you're away from the office, you must protect yourself.

Stuart Haynes, from our Commercial Team, said: “Directors have responsibilities not only to the company, their employees and shareholders, but in law too. And if you’re leaving someone else in charge in your absence, you must set clear boundaries for what they can and cannot do, otherwise it will be you who is personally liable for any mistakes.”

He said it was vital to make sure all the necessary paperwork was in place before the employer left the office – risk assessments, a health and safety policy, up-to-date accident records, and liability insurance.

“And before you leave, make sure there are explicit instructions as to what employees can and cannot do but beware, in most cases you will not be able to recover any losses the company has suffered. Explain to the staff in charge that no orders above a certain level or of a particular type can be placed in your absence, and put this in writing.

“You should also try to avoid leaving too many key responsibilities to just one person, aim to spread the risks by sharing them out. The best advice is to set clear boundaries before you leave, and that way everyone will know exactly where they stand, and you can enjoy your break without worrying about what you’ll find when you get back.”