In Industry Insights

So you’re back in the office and still dreaming of clear oceans, sunsets and the warm summer breeze? 

I feel your pain, so let’s not draw this out with a long introduction. Here is a brief roundup of the compliance news you may have missed this summer:

  1. There is a great deal of new and updated SRA guidance to get to grips with, most notably:
  2. The Law Society practice note team has been busy, too. Don’t miss:
  3. Disciplinary actions have hardly taken a breath. Aside from the usual strike offs for dishonesty and falsifying documents, interesting decisions include:
  4. There are going to be more SRA Transparency Rules checks on solicitors’ websites this year. Use our free checklist to make sure yours passes scrutiny.
  5. Our regulator took one step closer to becoming judge, jury and executioner when its fining powers were increased from £2,000 to £25,000 (the penalties for ABSs were already much higher). A consultation on a fixed penalty scheme is currently open.
  6. The SRA pulled back from the brink in closing the Solicitors Indemnity Fund, extending the scheme for a further 12 months. A snap discussion paper was published, setting out the options for the future of the scheme.
  7. The Legal Services Board wants the SRA to improve competence checks for solicitors throughout their careers. Expect consultations and a move away from self-declared competence.
  8. The Legal Sector Affinity Group’s AML guidance was (finally) approved by the Treasury, meaning it now has legal standing and must form part of your AML controls.
  9. The National Crime Agency and OFSI sent a shot across the bow to professional ‘enablers’, issuing a red alert in relation to sanctions compliance.
  10. Gibraltar was added to the FATF list of countries under increased monitoring. Any clients or matters involving Gibraltar should be treated as higher risk.
  11. The Register of Overseas Entities (ROE) went live on 1 August. The register seeks to increase transparency of the beneficial ownership of UK property. Solicitors could face criminal sanctions for failing to properly register properties owned by foreign companies with Companies House.

Let’s all just agree to take a breath in August 2023, shall we?

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