The Solicitors Regulation Authority of England and Wales annual compliance officers conference goes hybrid

This key annual conference attracted 600 people to the face-to-face event, followed by more than 33,000 views of virtual sessions the following week.

The programme covered topics including:

  • Money laundering
  • The SQE and what it means for your firm
  • Innovation and technology – how can technology help firms spot risks and comply with regulatory obligations
  • Accounts rules – one year from implementation
  • Anti-money laundering – practical tips for managing AML risks
  • Your compliance queries
  • Cybercrime, Covid and homeworking and increased risk
  • Better information for customers

Read the full article and view the virtual sessions.

The Bar Standards Board of England and Wales moves to the next step of its project to ensure barristers practices comply with the Bar transparency rules.

The Bar Standards Board is beginning the next phase of its work regarding the Bar transparency rules which came into force in July 2019. This involves ensuring all barristers’ practices comply.

The Bar transparency rules are designed to help the public make informed decisions about barristers’ services and improve the information available to the public before they engage services. The rules require all self-employed barristers, chambers and BSB-regulated entities to publish specified information about their services, including which types of legal service they provide, their most commonly used pricing models and details of their clients’ rights of redress.

This move follows the publishing of a report on the impact of the new rules which shows that while most barristers’ practices have complied with the rules, compliance testing in 2020 and 2021 (which is ongoing) has revealed that there is still a significant minority who were not fully compliant with the rules.

Read the full story here.

Regulating Law Firms from the Inside: The Role of Compliance Officers for Legal Practice in England and Wales

Following the Legal Services Act 2007, which permitted the delivery of legal services through Alternative Business Structures (ABS), the Solicitors Regulation Authority required all regulated legal service firms to appoint Compliance Officers for Legal Practice (COLPs). COLPs are charged with taking reasonable steps to ensure that firms comply with their obligations, which entails interpreting what outcomes‐focused regulation (OFR) requires of the firm. Yet despite their importance, little is known about how compliance roles operate within legal service firms. We addressed this gap through a series of qualitative interviews that explored COLPs’ views of their roles, their attitudes to regulation, in particular to OFR, and to achieving compliance. We found that COLPs are a key regulatory mechanism in the context of firm‐based regulation and OFR and have a critical role to play in protecting and promoting professional values in both ABS and non‐ABS entities.

Full Paper Available Here

Sundeep Aulakh, University of Leeds – Work and Employment Relations & Joan Loughrey, University of Leeds