The end of July saw the SRA publish the new Risk Outlook 2016/17. There are seven ‘key risks’ identified, namely:
- Lack of access to legal services
- Standards of service and considering vulnerability
- Information security
- Independence and integrity
- Protecting client money
- Money laundering
Keen to keep abreast of changes in the legal market whilst simultaneously reducing any necessary bureaucracy, and long complicated rules, the SRA are keen to ensure that firms are free to focus on ways to grow, innovate, all whilst they maintain their protections to the public.
Some may say that is a tall order indeed!
With many of the risks seemingly remaining unchanged, for example, money laundering, information security (namely cybercrime), and the like, the SRA are keen to point out that vigilance of such risks is more important than ever in the ever changing legal market we find ourselves in.
The new addition to the list for the next year is that of ‘lack of access to legal services’ – with an estimated 9 out of 10 people not consulting a lawyer, there is clearly a growing need for the profession to (a) understand the problem / issues better, and (b) ensure that the needs of everyone are met in more innovative ways.
Whilst the SRA point out that things are improving and ‘moving in the right direction’, there is an acknowledgment that there is still work to be done.
Over the coming weeks, we will take each ‘key risk’ in turn and give you a basic rundown of what it is and why it is important.