LBS Legal provides essential regulatory compliance support to more than two hundred legal practices, helping them to comply with the SRA Handbook.
Regulatory sanctions can be avoided by practices which ensure they have taken all reasonable steps to comply with their regulatory obligations. LBS Legal can assist in this regard by conducting a comprehensive compliance audit, with a detailed report of findings and assisting with any remedial action required, followed up by ongoing compliance support, addressing all remedial action identified, as well as any required compliance training.
Our regulatory compliance team includes former SRA investigators, lawyers and practice directors, whose collective expertise is far greater than that which all but the largest legal practices are able to develop in-house.
Our areas of expertise include:
- referrals of business;
- interest on client money;
- conflicts of interest and compliance officers;
- financial crime;
- separate business rules;
- compliance issues relating to promoting, publicising and marketing a legal services business;
- all aspects of the SRA Handbook.
Statistical data strongly suggests that LBS Legal clients generate significantly fewer negligence claims and complaints, enjoy a more positive relationship with the SRA, retain panel status with more lenders and pay significantly smaller indemnity insurance premiums than their competitors.
Regulatory Compliance: Audit and Report
LBS Legal has a large team of specialist advisers with high-level expertise in the duties and liabilities of solicitors, as well as the legal and regulatory framework for the provision of legal services.
Our detailed regulatory compliance reports, based on a thorough on-site audit, have won comprehensive praise from regulators, clients, indemnity insurers, mortgage lenders and leading industry commentators. Our consultants are trained with an objective eye to spot the sort of issues, which the SRA would identify.
The compliance audit, carried out by LBS Legal advisers with appropriate qualifications, is intended to give you total peace of mind and provide simple solutions to eliminate risks. The sorts of issues that it would typically flush out include:
- inconsistencies between the information given to clients and the current status quo in your practice;
- instances where your compliance documentation does reflect the changes required to comply with legislative developments (e.g. the ban on referrals in personal injury cases), even though the necessary procedural changes may have been made;
- where irrelevant information is being given to clients or is not correctly tailored to the client, team or work model;
- where an issue needs simplifying for clients to understand or inconsistencies between documentation rectified;
- where informed consent should be obtained from clients and you should not be relying on simply informing them of an issue;
- where confidentiality undertakings need to be obtained from third parties or outsourcing agreements put in place.
The regulatory compliance report comes complete with a helpful compliance plan, which you can choose to implement yourself or engage LBS Legal in its activation. Competitively priced, it represents good value for money, saving thousands in potential penalties and time-consuming SRA investigations.
At the end of the implementation process, you will be in a position to evidence your regulatory compliance to the SRA, professional indemnity insurers and lender panels.
Couldn’t you just carry out an internal review? Yes, of course, if you find the time to do so and are up to date with the SRA Handbook. We just do it:
- better: because we know what the SRA are looking for;
- quicker: because we do it so often;
- objectively: as we have not looked at, or perhaps been involved in amending the materials, over the years and
- impartially: so you don’t have tell any of your colleagues if they are exposing your practice to the risk of SRA sanction and need to take action!
For further information about an LBS Legal Compliance Audit or to discuss a fixed fee, please contact Ian Braithwaite Client Relationship Manager on 0113 385 4483 or 07432 695 289 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Compliance Services and Training
Major new principles have been placed at the core of the regulatory regime, including principles relating to risk management, practice governance, effective business management and the avoidance of inadequate professional service or professional negligence.
The additional regulatory obligations continue to pose financial, reputational and regulatory risks to many practices, including:
- Financial Crime and Anti-Money Laundering;
- Mortgage Fraud;
- Equality and Diversity;
- Data Protection and Control;
- Health and Safety.
The numbers of solicitors facing regulatory, criminal and financial penalties as a result of non-compliance is at an all-time high. Failure to get to grips with the new SRA Handbook can result in:
- costly and time consuming regulatory investigations;
- penalties, disqualifications, referral to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal;
- high intensity, intrusive, burdensome regulation by the SRA;
- revocation of your practice’s authorisation or closure as a result of SRA intervention.