Lexcel Consultant Samantha Bray goes into depth on law firm compliance plans.
When was your law firm compliance plan last updated?
2011 was a shock to the system for solicitors. Remember when the SRA got rid of those nice, clear rules in favour of ‘outcomes’?
And suddenly, those new compliance officer roles (COLP and COFA) put individuals within law firms firmly on the hook?
It was a huge upheaval, and many firms struggled to get to grips with the new form of regulation.
Principles-based regulation has been with us for over a decade, and is now in its second iteration (‘Standards and Regulations’). We should all be experts at this point!
One of the first things law firms were encouraged to do under outcomes-focused regulation was draft a compliance plan. This important document sets out how the firm tries its best to comply with the various rules/outcomes.
Perhaps more importantly, the law firm compliance plan is:
- a fundamental part of getting your house in order – the process forces you to critically think about proportionate systems and controls
- an accessible document for others in the team – ‘this is how we do it’
- your evidence, should it ever be needed, that your have been through the process
Most law firms grappled with the compliance plan back then. But it’s fair to say that a good proportion have not re-run the exercise since.
With summer fast approaching, could this be your next compliance project?
Download our free template guide
Click here to access our law firm compliance plan overview and template (no email required).
In the document, you will find:
- an overview of the regulatory obligations
- examples of key policies, systems and controls you should have in place
- a review template on a monthly, quarterly and annual cycle
- an audit template to record compliance trends and patterns.
We hope you find this a helpful starting point.
Contact us for a free 15 minute consultation on your compliance planning process – we would love to hear from you.