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Ensuring Compliance and Mitigating Risks in the Legal Industry
October 19, 2023

1. Introduction

At The Strategic Partner, we recognise the significance of self-regulation for law firms to avoid potentially significant fines resulting from solicitor misconduct. A recent article from the Law Gazette highlighted how the CEO of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has emphasised the need for law firms to proactively root out bad lawyers. The SRA has appealed for unlimited fining powers against individuals and firms, not only in cases related to a newspaper sting involving immigration lawyers but also in a broader range of situations. During the SRA compliance conference, CEO Paul Philip stressed that partners in law firms should be aware that they could face significant penalties when solicitors under their supervision engage in misconduct. He underlined the need for personal accountability and urged partners to take responsibility for self-regulation.

‘Where we find people doing the types of things you shouldn’t be doing, I truly believe they should face personal accountability but also the partners in that firm must take some responsibility for self-regulation,’

The Legal Services Board, the oversight regulator, has also announced plans to review the tools available to the SRA, as existing penalties may not be sufficient to deter serious misconduct effectively. Currently, cases with fines exceeding £25,000 are referred to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, a process the SRA believes is often too lengthy and does not adequately address systemic issues in firms that may have contributed to or allowed misconduct.

To gain further insights into the SRA’s efforts and the evolving regulatory landscape, we recommend reading the full article here: Root out the bad lawyers or you will be fined, says SRA.

2. Regulatory Guidance and Support from Industry Experts

Our services at The Strategic Partner are designed to assist law firms in achieving effective self-regulation. We provide comprehensive compliance solutions that help firms identify and address potential risks and misconduct within their firms. By working closely with firms, employees, and their MLRO, COLP, and COFA, we aim to instil a culture of self-regulation and accountability.

Our objective is to empower firms to effectively manage risk, compliance, and regulation, allowing them to focus on delivering exceptional service to their clients.

3. How The Strategic Partner Can Assist

    • Risk Assessment Service and Independent AML Audit: Our experts will review your firm’s approach to regulation and compliance, providing a written gap analysis and actionable solutions to address any compliance issues.
    • Regulation 21 AML 2017 Independent Audit: We ensure your firm’s approach to regulation and compliance aligns with the requirements of Regulation 21 of the AML 2017, providing a gap analysis and compliance solutions.
    • Training and Education: Our customised training programs equip your staff with the knowledge and skills to fulfil their compliance responsibilities, covering AML regulations, risk assessment, and suspicious activity detection.
    • Auditing: We review procedural staff, systems, and files to ensure they meet required standards and are correctly implemented at the case level, with a report of the audit’s outcome.
    • Ongoing Compliance Support: Our experts provide continuous support, keeping you updated on the latest AML regulations and best practices, offering regular compliance reviews and assistance with regulatory reporting.

Packaged Solutions: We provide robust solutions to ensure your firm achieves and maintains compliance, including services such as Risk, Regulation, and Compliance, as well as AML Guidance and Register Administration:

For further insights, please explore our previous articles:

Get in Touch with The Strategic Partner

For more information on The Strategic Partner and to discuss how we may be able to assist in accelerating your risk management or compliance and regulation or simply to keep this up to date you can call us on 020 3911 9710 or email us info@thestrategicpartner.co.uk.

View and download this article here.

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