Today's Conveyancer Podcast

The many hats of a compliance officer

In a discussion which will no doubt elicit cries of empathy and a collective nod from compliance teams in law firms up and down the country, Lucy Batten joins the latest Today’s Conveyancer Podcast to discuss her role as Executive Director and Compliance Officer for Legal Practice (COLP) at Gloucestershire-based Montpellier Legal. Her role encompasses oversight of the full gamut of compliance and regulatory requirements placed on the modern law firm and she fulfils the role of Money Laundering Compliance Officer (MLCO) and Senior Reporting Officer (SRO) for the CQS regime.

In a wide-ranging discussion on the extent of the role, the importance of empowerment and training, and the practicalities of keeping a team on the straight and narrow, Lucy articulates the challenges she faces, and the tools she adopts to ensure the firm remains compliant.

Lucy also goes into detail about a recent SRA AML audit the firm was the subject of; providing some insight into the expectations of the audit, and the firm’s take-aways and learnings from the inspection. Critical, says Lucy, is the level of detail in firm’s Practice Wide Risk Assessment (PWRA); it is also important that all staff understand the policies and procedures in place as they will be interviewed.

Lucy moves on the discuss the importance of training and explaining to staff why we do what, which will embed the learning and understanding. She reminds us of why we conduct money laundering checks; to protect the firm and more importantly, to protect the public. It cannot be seen as a tick-box exercise, says Lucy, and demonstrates the need for firms to dedicate more resource to compliance roles and responsibilities.

The Today’s Conveyancer podcast can be found on your preferred podcast provider and also at www.todaysconveyancer.co.uk. Subscribe and listen in for all the latest conveyancing industry news and views.

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