Auxilium Legal Limited
Let’s journey back to 2019, a time when we could carry out our Quality Management training in person… it was here that Auxilium Legal Limited knew they’d found the ISO provider they had been looking for and, just five months later, successfully implemented their ISO 9001 Quality Management System with no non-compliances.
About Auxilium Legal Limited
Whilst the principals come from very different backgrounds, Will from law and Susanna from logistics, the pair founded Auxilium Legal Limited in 2010. Primarily providing costs drafting services to the legal profession, they have since expanded into a project management focused approach to costs budgets and costs management largely for lawyers but also insurers and funders too. This has now encompassed the design of workflows and workflow management as the legal sector and its clients become more focused on the control of legal costs.
A Widely Recognised International Standard
If you work within the legal sector, you will be well aware of The Law Society’s own quality mark known as Lexcel. However, with this accreditation only being available to law firms, Auxilium began to explore the idea of ISO 9001 certification which would be recognised not only by the legal sector but many other industries too. Director, Will Whawell advises: “we had already achieved Legal Project Management Practitioner status and felt that ISO would be a sound footing on which to base our internal working practices. Achieving the status would certainly assist with our financial services clients who lend to law firms and who require their suppliers to be able to demonstrate an understanding of process. As a business, we had become reactive not proactive and we felt ISO would reverse this trend and allow us to work in a more efficient way”.
Finding an ISO Provider
To learn more about the ISO certification process and how it would benefit not only the company but their clients too, it was decided that attending a training course would be a great starting point. However, when it came to finding a provider, they wanted to find a firm they could work with long term and who wasn’t going to be just a faceless organisation.
After seeing the course advertised on Twitter, Will enrolled on our Quality Management Training where he met Lead Assessor and Trainer Dan Pemberton as well as Business Development Specialist Stacey Humm, who happened to be attending the training as a delegate too. Like Will, Stacey comes from a legal background having previously worked as a Litigation Solicitor so fully understood the challenges they faced in the legal sector.
It was from this meeting that Auxilium made the decision to implement the ISO 9001 Quality Management Certification with ourselves. Achieving this has made Auxilium, to the best of our knowledge, one of only a handful of firms in their sector with ISO, setting them aside from their competitors. They have found that: “it certainly affects relationships with insurers and funders who recognise ISO”.
Developing Auditing Techniques Unique to the Sector
Twelve months on, Auxilium has found that achieving ISO 9001 certification has helped them to streamline their systems, improve efficiency and allowed for swift changes at times of crisis, such as through the current pandemic. Will comments: “certification has certainly aided our approach in dealing with issues that our clients may themselves have internally and allowed us to develop auditing techniques that are unique to our sector. In addition, it has assisted us in being able to create a new way of working following COVID-19 and has meant as a business, we are more agile in approach than previously. It has allowed us to develop new areas of work”.
What’s Next for Auxilium?
In true ISO style, Auxilium are continually looking for ways to improve their business further by adding PRINCE2, a process-based method for effective project management. In addition, Will is also looking to become an ISO Lead Auditor whilst Susanna is focusing on her PhD and research work.
Achieving Certification with No Non-Compliances
On working with ourselves, Will remarks: “The team at ISO QSL certainly understood the dynamic of the two directors in the approach they took to allocating a lead auditor to us. Having Jam was a stroke of genius as he saw how the Directors dynamic works first-hand. Support is never far away. It was however the initial introduction with Dan and the meeting with Stacey that made us decide to use ISO QSL”.
Lead Auditor, Keith Shakes (Jam) comments: “It was an absolute pleasure working alongside both William and Susanna. As their consultant, I was extremely impressed with how easily they were able to demonstrate an ability to translate the complexities of the clauses to how they related to their business. So, from not previously understanding the clauses of the ISO 9001:2015 standard, they both placed an extremely huge amount of effort, time, attentiveness to detail, positive energy, and tireless hard work with achieving certification with zero non-compliances. It was great working with them both on a professional level, well done”.
Account Manager, Bird Hancock adds: “it is so refreshing to work with a client, like Auxilium, who not only understands the benefits of ISO but also believes in it. Auxilium have not been a client of ours for very long but they have taken to their ISO management systems like a duck to water! Will and Susie are a pleasure to work with and I look forward to helping them mature their management system – maybe even introducing some more along the way!”
If, like Auxilium, you’re looking to achieve ISO certification, Will advises: “wipe all preconceptions from your mind. Don’t do ISO just to tick a box on a tender document. Do it because you strive for your business to be better all the time”.
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