The legal industry continues to encounter new challenges and regulatory changes. As such, firms are seeking more efficient working processes and evaluating the cost of running their businesses to reduce expenses without compromising operational performance and profitability. Therefore, there is a demand for cost-effective solutions to achieve requirements more effectively.
In our previous article, we highlighted the pivotal role that a Detailed Firm Strategic Review plays in unlocking a law firm’s true potential. In follow up, we look at how outsourcing and consultancy services can benefit your law firm.
Why Outsourcing Non-Billable Work Can Benefit Your Law Firm
There are several reasons why outsourcing should form part of most law firms’ strategic planning to ensure efficiency, sustainability, and profitability. Some of the benefits of outsourcing that it brings are:
- Cost-effective solutions and reduced expenditures as a firm will only outsource what they need when needed. The cost of outsourcing is usually lower than employing in-house resources.
- Outsourcing provides additional expertise to manage the firm or deliver services.
- Allows a firm to get projects finished when short-term resources are required.
- Outsourcing enables a focus on a particular task or project as the outsourcer will have one goal: to deliver the outsourcing arrangement’s requirements without distraction.
Firms of all sizes can use outsourcing as an integral part of their infrastructure. At The Strategic Partner, we have the resources and expertise law firms require for a wide range of services covering all aspects of law firm management. Our experienced staff understand how law firms operate and get up to speed quickly, quickly becoming an essential part of the firm’s overall resource at a cost-effective price. There are several tangible benefits to outsourcing some of the core aspects and requirements of running a law firm.
Below, we give an overview of some of the services you can engage The Strategic Partner to assist you with.
Outsourcing Regulation and Compliance Services Including AML
Due to increased regulatory scrutiny, firms are urged to take their responsibilities seriously and allocate adequate resources to meet their regulatory obligations. Two key requirements are carrying out a compliant Firm Wide Risk Assessment and a Regulation 21 Independent Audit. However, some firms are still being fined by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) for failing to carry out these requirements properly. The SRA has also sanctioned firms for falsely declaring they had a compliant risk assessment. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic brought about significant changes in the legal workplace. Although lockdowns are now a distant memory, remote or hybrid working is here to stay. Most firms have adequate supervision structures and policies in place to cover hybrid and remote working, but compliance still needs to be improved even at that level.
Key areas firms should be reviewing include:
- Conduct expected risk assessments.
- Ensure you are meeting regulatory requirements to carry out a Regulation 21 Independent Audit – Anti Money Laundering Regulations (MLR) 2017.
- Ensure all policies, controls, and procedures (PCPs) are up to date.
- Ensure all PCPs are tailored to match how the firm operates.
- Establish robust file review programmes.
- Establish robust training programmes.
The obvious advantage to looking externally for your firm’s regulatory and compliance needs is that you benefit from the broader experience of your chosen partner. At The Strategic Partner, we work with law firms of all sizes and structures across England and Wales. Consequently, we have built tremendous practical experience in all facets of law firm risk management and compliance, which you can access and benefit from.
We aim to ensure the firms we work with have and retain a compliant structure, enabling the firms, their managers, and owners to focus on running their businesses and servicing their clients.
If you believe your firm may be at risk or wish to confirm your firm is achieving the required standard, we offer a range of solutions at The Strategic Partner, including:
- Regulation 21 AML 2017 Independent Audit – requires an independent audit of the firm’s approach to regulation and compliance. The audit requirements include an evaluation of the firm’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) procedures. The audit must meet the requirements outlined in Regulation 21. The audit output should provide the firm with a written gap analysis highlighting compliance issues. The audit should also suggest solutions to remedy these issues and ensure the firm is fully compliant – find out more
- Training – Our typical AML Training includes:
- AML Training for ALL staff to meet the firm’s obligation to provide annual training.
- 1-2-1 training for the MLRO and MLCO on their obligations and requirements.
- Practical training for those involved in client onboarding to ensure their ID and AML checks are correctly completed.
- File Revies/Auditing – At TSP, we engage with firms undertaking file reviews where we consider your procedure, staff, systems, and files to ensure the procedures are up to the required standard and being implemented at case level with a report of the outcome.
Our packaged risk and compliance solutions provide guidance and support to firms on a range of topics and include: –
- Our Risk, Regulation and Compliance Service (including AML), provides firms with the necessary Policies, Controls and Procedures (PCPs), training, supervision structure, and an annual independent assessment and reporting. This solution ensures that firms and their staff are compliant and remain so. It also clarifies what to do in the event of a mistake and/or a breach occurs.
- Our extended service, Risk, Compliance, AML Guidance and Register Administration, provides an outsource solution for firms where The Strategic Partner not only manages and maintains the risk registers and provides guidance to all staff (inc. Partners), we also produce monthly risk and compliance reports.
Training and Mentoring Services
Training is an essential part of any law firm’s maintenance and development. Enhancing the knowledge of those who work within a law firm allows that firm to evolve, improve what it does and keep pace with the complex and changing world of legal services.
Whether you are seeking training on a 1-2-1 or Group basis, The Strategic Partner has a range of training courses and mentoring programmes to suit any firm, and we can also design additional bespoke courses you need. We have trained firms of all sizes, and our clients range from sole practitioners to multi-office, multi-service firms with overseas offices.
Our knowledge and expertise earned from longstanding industry experience ensure that we can deliver law firm training courses that add true value to each law firm we work with. We do not believe in just ticking boxes. Our training courses are designed to impart the knowledge your firm and your staff require to ensure a more profitable, efficient, and compliant law firm.
We aim to become the Training Partner for Law Firms providing training using our in-house expertise or bringing in third-party experts where required.
Find out more about our training and mentoring programmes by clicking on the links below:
Marketing for Law Firms
Our legal marketing consultants work with firms in the UK and Overseas, either alongside an internal marketing team or resource, or as a wholly outsourced partner where we take full control and responsibility for managing your marketing and advertising strategy.
Their expertise includes working with firms of all sizes and structures, including Individuals, Sole Practitioners, Partnership, Companies, and PLC’s. From single office firms, through to multinational multi-department/service firms with offices in the UK and abroad, their knowledge and expertise along with the unique expertise of The Strategic Partner, provide law firms with a robust marketing solution. They offer a full and comprehensive marketing strategy solution for both digital and traditional marketing services, including:
- Website design, build, and management
- Search Engine Optimisation
- PPC and paid advertising management
- Social Media Strategy and Management
- Content Creation and Optimisation
- Design & Branding
- Traditional Marketing including, email marketing and print and design
For more information on working with our marketing consultancy, click on the link below for details
Law Firm Support – How We Can Help
These are just examples of some of the outsourcing solutions we can provide. At The Strategic Partner, we work with law firms to build short to long-term plans, both financial and operational, to assist them in facing future challenges positively and in being prepared.
We have designed a full range of services for law firms that can be acquired as a complete outsourced solution or complementary to an existing person or department within the firm. We present cost-effective solutions to firms that bring enhanced expertise at competitive pricing.
All our services are tailored to the needs of an individual firm and are, therefore, bespoke.
About The Strategic Partner
The Strategic Partner is a law firm knowledge hub. We work with law firms and professional indemnity insurers, advising and guiding on compliance and risk management techniques to assist and reduce instances of claims or regulatory breaches.
We offer a range of services and consultancy tailored to the Legal sector. We have gained a wealth of knowledge and experience in managing law firms and working with them to achieve profitability, stability, and efficiency. Our goal is to become a valued and respected partner to our member law firms, consistently providing high-quality services and solutions.