SRA practising certificate renewals have changed for 2021: Ready, set, renew!
If you manage your firm’s mySRA account, you have probably received an email from the SRA about this year’s renewal exercise.
They say there have been improvements to the system, although past experience of SRA IT projects suggests the changes might not be plain sailing.
In this post, Rachael Eyre tells you what information you can start pulling together to avoid ‘mySRA rage’ in October.
Remote outsourced file reviews are a COLP’s best friend
As society starts to reopen, law firms, like every other business, have to adapt to new ways of working.
Researchers invited the Welsh legal sector to share their experiences of home working, wellbeing during the pandemic, and desires for future working arrangements.
The majority (73%) say they would prefer a mix of home and office working.
Which got us thinking about the compliance challenges of remote working and how to tackle them.
News and Guidance
Law Society Updates
- Law Society President urges firms to start PII renewals now
- New guidance: Run-off cover
- New guidance: What to do when a complaint goes to the Legal Ombudsman
- New guidance: Solicitors offering legal services to the public from unregulated entities
- New guidance: Freelance solicitors
- New practice note: Information obligations for service providers
- Closure of the Solicitors Indemnity Fund (SIF)
- Q&A: How do I deal with a client complaint about a barrister?
- Q&A: I’ve been professionally embarrassed. Can I withdraw from a Crown Court case?
- Price and service transparency – how you can comply
- Blog: ‘Fish files’ – the attack of the 4am impending doom case
- Updated guidance: How we deal with money when we intervene (Statutory Trusts) – just in case you ever wondered
- Good early signs from comparison website pilot
- Views wanted on restricting fees in financial mis-selling claims
- Gazette: Regulator fears consumers are missing out on LEI
- Legal Futures: Public supports stronger ongoing competence checks for lawyers
Thanks to everyone who attended this week’s webinar (‘SRA Accounts Rules for Non-Accountants’).
And a huge thanks to Richard Lane for leading what was a highly engaging session. We learned:
- Why we can’t solely rely on the Accounts Rules these days. Just because there is not a rule that says you can’t do something does not mean you can. The SRA is increasingly falling back on the Principles and Code of Conduct
- How subtle changes to the wording of certain rules can have big implications for the way accounts departments are run.
- Why it’s important to read the guidance on billing in advance for your costs (despite what the rule appears to say)
- That providing a banking facility, transferring costs, residual balances and correcting breaches are the high risk areas to watch
- Where to find the SRA’s expectations of the COFA (buried in guidance).
We are having an August break☺, but will be back in September to look at the implications of Beckwith and #metoo for law firms.
We are going to try a slightly different format for this topic and are inviting a panel of experts to discuss the issues. Invitations to follow – not to be missed!
- Seven more law firms fined, named and shamed by the SRA for minor AML breaches. See our updated post. We are likely to see more and more of these until firms get to grips with the latest Money Laundering Regulations.
- Schofield Sweeney (a firm) – rebuked by the SRA for acting for a fraudster purporting to be the seller of a property. Having never met the ‘client’, the firm should have (and failed) to complete enhanced due diligence. As well as strict Money Laundering Regulations failings, the SRA pegged its findings on core SRA Principles and the Code of Conduct.
- Manpreet Singh – already struck off, ex-solicitor jailed for 3 years after submitting over 50 falsified SDLT returns (and pocketing over £300k over 5 years).
- James Tompkins and Hodders Law – fined (£5,000 and £11,000 respectively) for failing to spot an ‘own’ conflict of interest