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That individual takes on responsibility for the practice’s compliance position with every piece of regulation excluding the SRA Accounts Rule 2011 including a duty to report any material breaches to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).
The interpretive nature of the SRA Handbook poses significant difficulties for a COLP attempting to ‘stamp their authority’ on a practice’s position and in particular when it comes to telling the practice’s ‘regulated principals’ that they intend to make a report to the SRA.
In order to obtain that degree of interpretive authority for their COLP practices will have, to varying degrees, a number of options.
1) Spend time and money on training;
2) Seek expert advice and opinion on interpretation;
3) Recruit a specialist for the role.
All carry a financial cost.
In addition, fee earning COLPs will be required to spend more time monitoring and reviewing the practice’s risk and compliance position than previously, adding a decrease in fee income to the financial expenditure.
But perhaps the real cost will only become apparent when comparisons can be made between those committed to achieving compliance and those that pay simple ‘lip service’ to the SRA. Will SRA enforcement be sufficiently robust to achieve a level playing field or will any investment in an effective COLP be a precious and unnecessary waste of resources?
Client Relationship Manager
T: 0845 056 3949
M: 0743 727 4046
The Law Society has issued a practice note about the risks to solicitors posed by this new legislation, which came into force on 30 September.
The SRA has urged all practices to check HM Treasury’s consolidated list of asset freeze targets, which lists designated persons subject to financial sanction under EU or UK legislation.
The practising certificate renewal period opened on Monday 2 October.
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