Earlier in the week we published some guidance from SearchFlow on how to deal with the issue of compliance.
The firm has teamed up with Legal Eye to help practices embed compliance within their firms and is running a series of seminars throughout the autumn to explain more about compliance and how they can help.
Here they offer more guidance to firms on the issue.
SearchFlow point to the importance of clear correspondence between law firm and client and making sure that the client is crystal clear on where they stand, each party’s obligations and the rules under which the engagement is taking place.
They say a worrying number of client care letters remain devoid of compliant FSA/insurance paragraphs and other key aspects.
The launch of the new Code of Conduct and the Solicitors Accounts Rules means failure to meet these requirements can leave a firm in hot water.
Having a detailed Equality and Diversity Policy that clearly indicates how you are managing your risk and a process of control both internally and with recruitment agencies is vital.
For Anti-Money Laundering protection, new & existing clients must be vetted appropriately, together with robust processes that minimize the risk of exposure to fraudulent activity — whether ID theft, client account management.
Policies and procedures are not meant to be a bureaucratic swamp that distracts from the core business — they are there to demonstrate your rigour, quality and professionalism.
The bar has been raised and you must respond if you feel that you haven’t already done so.