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2020 – That Was The Year That Was
2020 – That Was The Year That WasDecember 11, 2020For the vast majority of us, 2020 will be a year that we will not forget, and mostly for all of the wrong reasons.  Here we look back at 2020 and at some of the key regulatory events that the year has seen including AML changes and the impact of Covid and Brexit on legal practices.Read More
Extensions to the Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Regime
Extensions to the Anti-Money Laundering Compliance RegimeNovember 12, 2020Ever since the anti-money laundering regime was first extended to the legal profession the scope of the regime has been defined by work type rather than professional status. For many years the areas of work that will trigger the need to comply with the regulations have remained broadly the same focussing on  transactional work, the management of client money or assets, trust and company service provision and tax advice.  Now, however, following a subtle change in the  wording of what constituRead More
The Difficult Work of the LeO
The Difficult Work of the LeONovember 11, 2020The annual report on the Legal Ombudsman service in September reported not only on those areas of legal practice where complaints were most numerous but also on the satisfaction ratings for the service itself - with an acknowledgement that the service does need to “rebuild confidence” with the public if it is to handle effectively the complaints that are made to it.Read More
Registering Beneficial Interests and the Trust Registration Service
Registering Beneficial Interests and the Trust Registration ServiceOctober 23, 2020The Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) (UK Exit) Regulations 2020 have, inter alia, made changes to the Trust Registration Service – requiring those holding beneficial interests in certain trusts to be registered for inspection. In this article we look at those changes and at how they are likely to affect legal practitioners.Read More
Tax Advice and the Risks of Negligent SDLT Returns
Tax Advice and the Risks of Negligent SDLT ReturnsSeptember 10, 2020The provision of tax advice by solicitors is a potential minefield unless the firm has the required skills to offer specific stand-alone tax advice.  For most firms it is more likely to form an ancillary element of other services and could easily add to a firm's risk exposure as the issues that arise are likely to be outside of the adviser’s main specialisation.  Here we look at some of the issues that arise.Read More
The Risks of Incorrect SDLT Returns
The Risks of Incorrect SDLT ReturnsSeptember 10, 2020Non-conveyancer compliance officers may be surprised to learn that systematic errors may be being made in the completion of Stamp Duty Land Tax returns by their firm.  Not only could this result in disciplinary action by the SRA but also a growth in the number of claims against solicitors.  Here Hannah Mackinlay, a property lawyer and trainer, looks at the problem and at the steps that solicitors should be taking to protect themselves.Read More
Website warning – legal consumers struggle with pricing
Website warning – legal consumers struggle with pricingAugust 12, 2020A press release from the Legal Services Consumer Panel reveals a record number of consumers shopping around but many still have problems finding out what services cost and dealing with other aspects of the legal process.  Is this a wake up call for firms who are still not compliant with the Transparency Rules?Read More
Giving and Accepting an Undertaking
Giving and Accepting an UndertakingAugust 12, 2020Undertakings are a fundamental part of the practice of a solicitor and their importance cannot be stated too strongly. However, with the growth of alternative providers of legal services, are we able to place the same reliance upon undertakings in the future? In this article we look at some of the issues that solicitors should bear in mind when giving and receiving undertakings and in particular of where they should be wary of accepting undertakings from non-solicitor legal providers. Read More
Reflections on my time as chair (and trustee) of LawCare
Reflections on my time as chair (and trustee) of LawCareAugust 11, 2020Bronwen Still, Infolegal director and former chair of the Board of Trustees of LawCare, reflects on the changing attitudes to mental health and wellbeing by law firms during her 23 years as a trustee.Read More
All Change – the New SRA Process for Firm Applications
All Change – the New SRA Process for Firm ApplicationsAugust 10, 2020SRA makes changes to the means by which individuals and firms are to make applications such as new firms and authorisation applications.Read More