Required by Lexcel and for a legal aid contract (if you’re crazy enough to want one), the Office Manual has to be one of the most tedious and least-read volumes ever produced. Another example of the ‘modern thinking’ we are all being forced into, it sets out at great length all of the procedures a ‘quality’ law firm is supposed to follow. But if you are ever bored enough to dip into your Office Manual (you do have one, dont you?), you’ll find that most of the procedures it contains are either of the ‘teaching a grandmother to suck eggs’ type (e.g. how to open and close files) or of the political-correctness-gone-mad variety such as stating that the firm does not discriminate against anyone regardless of sexual orientation, disability, hair colour etc etc.
As stated, the primary purpose of an office manual has nothing to do with making the firm run better. Instead, it is a necessary evil on the path towards obtaining some sort of ‘quality mark’, in the hope that that will reduce insurance premiums and persuade the unwary public that you are better than the firm down the road. The fact that that firm may contain lawyers who are actually much better at their job is neither here nor there.