Legal firms learn the importance of compliance rules

Law firms from across the West Midlands have been finding out how to ensure they are fully compliant with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Handbook, at an event hosted by Yorkshire Bank’s Birmingham Financial Solutions Centre (FSC).

West Midands law firms joining the nationwide teleconference heard legal experts outline some of the potential pitfalls of failing to adopt the new standards.

With a panel of experts made up of Peter Scott from Peter Scott Consulting and Nick Wilson of Giles Insurance, the firms were talked through some of the changes outlined in the SRA Handbook.

Last October, the SRA outlined measures placing a new emphasis on outcomes focused regulation, which are designed to deliver high quality outcomes for clients.

Amongst the main issues facing law firms is that all appointed COLPs and COFAs must have sufficient seniority to be able to enforce the rules, while law firms also have to be able to provide sufficient resource the role properly as part of their day-to-day operations.  Other areas covered by the panel included effective compliance plans, suitable arrangements for staff to be able to discharge their duties, and effective procedures to review and change practice which is not working as it should.

Paul Reeves, managing partner of Yorkshire Bank’s Birmingham FSC on Temple Row said the teleconference presented West Midlands businesses with a great opportunity to hear from two of the UK’s top experts on the SRA’s new compliance standards.

“The introduction of the new rules last year places a much higher emphasis on West Midlands law firms to ensure they achieve mandatory outcomes for compliance standards. Practices now have an obligation to ensure that appointed staff are able to carry out their jobs and that most importantly law firms provide the best possible service to clients.”

The teleconference was part of a nationwide series of events being hosted by Yorkshire Bank to allow corporate and business customers the chance to network and hear from some of the UK’s leading economists and professionals.