In news published by the Law Society Gazette this week (23rd June 2021), it highlighted details published by The Solicitors Regulation Authority of fines issued to six firms which took more than a year to comply with new AML regulations. – you can read the full article published on the Law Society Gazette here.
The SRA has made it explicitly clear (and has been doing so for some time) that firms must be compliant with the AML regulations and must carry out a risk assessment to identify and assess the business’s risks of money laundering and terrorist financing alongside appropriate due diligence on clients and matters.
The continual drive by the SRA to ensure the market complied with the AML Regulations is supported by the issuing of MLCO questionnaires and desk-based reviews. Increasing numbers of firms are being asked to demonstrate their understanding of the requirements of the regulations and, importantly, evidence their compliance through the provision of documents and submit to files audits and staff interviews. At The Strategic Partner, we have worked with and assisted many firms in this enquiry process and continue to do so.
For many firms, dealing with this in-house without sufficient understanding, resource or time can be extremely challenging to supervisors, compliance officers and their business, as compliance with the AML regulations is not as simple as it may first seem, often expert advice and guidance is essential to ensure your firm achieves a compliant status and maintains it.
Fast Track, Cost Effective and Robust Compliance Solutions
The Strategic Partner’s packaged compliance solutions for firms enables our clients to achieve a compliant status, and we continue to work with them on an ongoing basis. This allows the owners and staff to focus on services for their clients and running the firm knowing that their AML requirements are taken care of. At £3000 per annum (which can be paid monthly or quarterly and is discounted further for Members of the Strategic Partner) the relative cost savings to firms is significant, not least of all in comparison to any potential costs and fines a firm could receive if they are found in breach of the AML obligations and find themselves confronted with an SRA enquiry.
Our focus is to ensure each firm that works with us operated in a fully compliant environment and stays there. Through achieving this, the compliance officers in the business can be assured and confident that their obligations are being met, enabling them to focus on other areas of the firm.
Our Risk, Regulation and Compliance Service including AML provide firms with a robust approach to Regulations, Compliance and risk management, giving the compliance officers peace of mind that the requirements of the regulator are being met on an ongoing basis and can be evidenced. For firms with an internal team or person allocated to managing regulation and compliance, external expert support will enhance your internal strategies.
If you believe your firm may be at risk or you simply wish to confirm your firm is achieving the required standard, at The Strategic Partner, we offer a range of solutions which include: –
Review – A review of the firm’s approach to regulation and compliance to include AML procedures. The output of which provides the firm with a written gap analysis and solutions to remedy any issues.
Training – to include: –
- 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.
Auditing – Procedural, 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.
Solutions – Implementation of robust solutions to ensure the firm achieves compliance and then maintains compliance through the provision of ongoing support and assistance: –
Our compliance services
We would be very happy to discuss your current approach to regulation and compliance and how our services will assist you in ensuring your firm is protected.
Often expert advice and guidance is essential to ensure your firm achieves a compliant status and maintains it.
How we can help
The Strategic Partner provides essential support to law firms. We offer a range of services and consultancy tailored to the Legal sector. We have gained a wealth of knowledge and experience in the overall management of law firms and work with them to achieve profitability, stability, and efficiency. Our goal is to become a valued and respected partner to our member law firms providing high-quality services and solutions at all times.
For more information about The Strategic Partner, you can call us on 0203 911 9710 or you can email us at email@example.com.