100th Private Practice

Pictured left to right, Robert Macleod, MD, ANE, DR John Bridge, Chairman One North East, Neil Braithwaite, Managing Partner, Dickinson Dees Leading northern law firm, Dickinson Dees, has become the largest legal practice in the UK to be awarded the Law Society’s quality mark, Lexcel. It is also the 100th private practice to gain the prestigious standard, which recognises its commitment to high standards of client care and good practice management. The award is the culmination of efforts to successfully implement the Law Society’s standards throughout its large team of more than 500 staff including 57 partners. Launched by the Law Society in 1999 to promote good business management, the award was presented by Dr John Bridge, Chairman of regional development agency One NorthEast – appropriately next to the newly opened Millennium Bridge, which is overlooked by the firm’s modern office complex in Newcastle upon Tyne. Dr Bridge praised the firm saying: “Quality must be the guiding light in any successful company. I congratulate Dickinson Dees on this singular achievement which reflects well, not only on the practice but on the North East as well.” The accolade is a double achievement for Dickinson Dees which also holds the Investors in People award. For both awards, Law Society-accredited Assessment North East rigorously tested its people and processes. Robert Macleod of Assessment North East based at the North East of England Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) in Sunderland said: “We are delighted that Dickinson Dees passed Lexcel first time and with flying colours. To hold one quality award is good going but to achieve two is excellent and a true mark of a quality organisation. “Lexcel assessors are specially trained and have legal sector experience. Achieving the award is a tremendous achievement, something the firm should be very proud of, and which is already reaping them rewards.” The firm has not only benefited from a management perspective, but it has also led to a ‘significant reduction’ in their own professional insurance premiums. Neil Braithwaite, Managing Partner with Dickinson Dees, which specialises in services to large plcs and local authorities, said: “Lexcel is not just another certificate but testimony to the attainment of the highest legal standards in the land. “The fact that we are the largest law firm in the country to achieve this shows a commitment to good management which has been independently recognised and which many of our rivals have not yet matched.” In notching up a century for the Law Society’s Lexcel award, its President David McIntosh praised the firm saying: “This is a significant achievement for a firm of this size and demonstrates true commitment and a real team effort. “Lexcel is the quality standard for the legal profession and we hope that many other firms, large and small, throughout the country will continue to follow in their footsteps. It will bring mutual benefits to clients, businesses and the entire legal profession.”


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