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Towards Standards and Regulations
Towards Standards and RegulationsAugust 15, 2019One of the aims of the new Standards and Regulations was to reduce the length to the former Handbook. This was achieved largely by removing many of the more technical elements and by abandoning the numerous ‘indicative behaviours’ that accompany the outcomes of the Code of Conduct. However, having done the SRA now need to produce a body of guidance notes to explain what is required.  How long until these are regarded as forming an integral part of the rules?Read More
Regulatory Enforcement and the Standards and Regulations
Regulatory Enforcement and the Standards and RegulationsJuly 16, 2019As the November start date for the new SRA Standards and Regulations regime approaches so too does the need for greater clarification as to what the SRA intends in relation to its regulatory and disciplinary processes. Although the change process is gradually evolving and some guidance is being produced, nevertheless there are gaps that make the operation of the new regime too uncertain in places and, despite the principles basis for the new rules, the SRA policy makers still need to make clear Read More
Checking for PEP Status in accordance with the MLR 2017
Checking for PEP Status in accordance with the MLR 2017July 3, 2019Recently the SRA reported that a number of the firms in a thematic survey had inadequate PEP checking processes and that “Only relying on clients self-declaring they are a PEP is not appropriate”. This may not necessarily be correct, however, and the SRA may, in fact, have overstepped the mark.Read More
Are You Transparent?
Are You Transparent?June 19, 2019It is now over six months since the SRA introduced its Price Transparency Regulations, which came into force on 6 December 2018, and whilst many firms have implemented those rules to a greater or lesser extent, a substantial number are still failing to comply entirely.  In this article we look at what the SRA's web sweep has found, why firms may not be complying, what the SRA plans to do next and how firms can make sure they comply.Read More
Money Laundering Compliance – What the SRA Expects
Money Laundering Compliance – What the SRA ExpectsJune 14, 2019SRA report on an initial exercise to survey the degree of money laundering compliance and state that of the 59 firms surveyed almost a half – 26 firms – had “entered the disciplinary process”. Here we look at the report and the actions to be taken.Read More
Reporting Diversity Data
Reporting Diversity DataJune 12, 2019SRA requires that every two years all regulated firms collect, report and publish data about the diversity make-up of their workforce. Firms have until 1st July to report their diversity data to the SRA.  Here we look at what is required.Read More
Costs Information and the LeO
Costs Information and the LeOMay 27, 2019Although previous articles have looked at he SRA's requirements in relation to price transparency, these have tended to focus on the need for firms to ensure that they provide clear details of their costs and disbursements on their website.  However, updated guidance from the Legal Ombudsman focuses on what they will expect firms to have done in relation to price transparency - and here expectations go beyond the website and into the core of the work done by a firm.Read More
Residual Client Balances
Residual Client BalancesMay 20, 2019A perennial topic for concern is that of residual client balances – a problem that can often get left on the back-burner when day-to-day client matters are vying for attention. This, however, can be a mistake. When a firm eventually comes to sorting out the mess it can consume hours of fee earning time and the potential for dealing with matters incorrectly can present a headache.Read More
Non-Disclosure Agreements – Where Next?
Non-Disclosure Agreements – Where Next?May 6, 2019The recent publication by the Law Society of its Practice Note on “Non-disclosure agreements & confidentiality clauses in an employment law context” provides a salutary reminder that this remains a regulatory issue. The SRA’s focus on the use of NDAs began in late 2017 after the Harvey Weinstein allegations and the launch of the “#MeToo” campaign in the United States which then spread across the Atlantic to the Parliamentary Women & Equalities Committee and to the UK press.Read More
New Models of Practice II – Solicitors in Unregulated Entities
New Models of Practice II – Solicitors in Unregulated EntitiesMarch 1, 2019New regulations from SRA will permit solicitors employed by unregulated entities to provide legal services to the public provided they do not undertake reserved legal services other than through a regulated firm. Is this a recipe for confusion?Read More