Culture club: How one forward-thinking law firm tackles workplace wellbeing
We spoke to Forever Legal’s Head of Recruitment to get her views on the SRA’s new focus on workplace culture, and how firms can promote positive working environments.
ICYMI: Supervision in law firms – 10 practical tips
There are a lot of horror stories that underline the importance of supervision. How about, for starters:
- The partners who were fined for letting a non-lawyer have sole, unsupervised conduct of a group litigation involving 1,500 clients.
- The sole practitioner who failed to supervise his caseworker, incorrectly thinking he was a barrister.
- The partners whose supervision failures resulted in a paralegal stealing £400,00.
Although you may read these and think ‘that will never be me!’, it is vital to ensure you have robust systems in place in the first instance.
In this post, Samantha Bray looks at the SRA’s supervision requirements (it’s a personal obligation), training your supervisors, the role of the COLP and remote working, and gives 10 practical tips to implement an effective supervision system.
ICYMI: What is a Regulation 21 independent audit and why do we need one?
Carly Fallon discusses the often-overlooked ‘independent audit’ requirement of the Money Laundering Regulations.
See also our recent webinar on Regulation 21, below.
News and Guidance
Law Society Updates
- News: PM’s “misleading and dangerous” attack on lawyers undermines the rule of law
- Q&A: What do we need to include in our policy on handling cash?
- What’s changing: Economic Crime Act: what does it mean for law firms?
- Consultation: Publication of regulatory decisions – how long should misconduct rulings be available online?
- Consultation: Business plan and budget 2022-2023 – note that AML supervision “will remain high priority, with proposed commitments to…expand numbers of firm inspections and our desk-based review activity…“.
- Consultation: Restoring the annual keeping of the roll exercise – it seems only yesterday that this was scrapped but the SRA wants to bring it back, along with the ‘administration charge’.
- Legal Futures: MPs and peers urge bigger fines for lawyers who break AML rules – “OPBAS must ensure that there is a credible deterrent against breaking the rules.”
- Legal Futures: Law firms selling funeral plans “may need FCA regulation”
Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) – what you need to know
Our live webinar for May will be on Solicitor’s Qualifying Examination (SQE).
It has been over eight months since the new route to qualification was launched, but the specifics and mechanics are still a cause of confusion for many law firms. So we thought it would be useful to take a practical look at the process.
The session will cover:
- why has the process of qualification changed?
- what does the process look like now?
- how do individuals apply?
- what do firms need to do?
- what should you look out for?
And don’t forget, you will have the opportunity to ask your questions live.
When: Wednesday 25th May, 12:00 PM
Who should attend?: Partners, COLPs, supervisors
Spaces are limited, so if you or your team would like to join, please don’t leave it to the last minute. You can register in advance here.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Feel free to share this email with colleagues who may be interested in this event.
We hope to see you there!
Recording – Regulation 21
If you haven’t yet caught up with our recent webinar on Regulation 21 of the Money Laundering Regulations, the Zoom recording is available here (passcode Ir5ea7?Y) – the link will self destruct in 14 days.
- Paul Ibbotson – rebuked for failing to advise testator to take independent advice, where the will created a significant beneficial interest for a member of the solicitor’s family.
- Jonathan Hunter – rebuked for acting in a conflicted situation and failing to complete AML checks, when acting for a family member.
- John Turner – fined £1,700 for failing to keep proper records of account in accordance with the Accounts Rules.
- Helen Heselwood – COLP rebuked for accepting referrals from a genealogist business that made unsolicited approaches to potential beneficiary clients.
- Sophie Bentham – trainee solicitor struck off (Section 43 Order) for fabricating letters of administration.
- Tilbrook’s (a firm) – fined £2,000 for Transparency Rules failures (costs and complaints information, and the digital badge).
- Stephen Acres – struck off solicitor jailed for six years, following a conviction for theft of over £300,000 from a vulnerable client.
- Ashley Attwood – jailed solicitor struck off following sexual assault conviction.
- Aziz-Ur Rehman – struck off following misappropriation of client funds intended for property investments.