Risk Outlook 2019/2020


Welcome to the new Risk Outlook for 2019/20. We know that the Outlook is a valuable resource for Compliance Officers – it’s certainly one of the most visited pages of our website. It's important, I think, that it is also shared within firms so that everyone can play their role in managing risk.

The Outlook sets out what we think are the key risks and challenges faced by the profession. By sharing our views, and what we think can be done to address the issues, we hope to help you get to grips with the challenges. The impact on the users of legal services when things go wrong can be devastating and we all want to avoid that.

Our priority risks have not changed from the 2018/19 Risk Outlook, though we have reduced the number from ten to nine, merging cyber security with information security to reflect that information is increasingly a key asset that is vulnerable to attack in the same way money is.

Issues with money laundering are at the top of our priority list. As has been pointed out by the National Crime Agency, solicitors are on the frontline in the battle against money laundering. But far too many firms do not have the necessary systems in place to keep money launderers out of legal services. For example, some have not completed a basic risk assessment that should underpin a firm’s approach. This is not just poor practice – having a risk assessment is a legal requirement under 2017 government regulations. Compliance is essential and I urge you all to take the necessary steps as quickly as possible.

We all know how fundamental the work of solicitors is to every part of our society and our communities. We have a lot to be proud of but there is much more to do. Our Risk Outlook can help you to get it right in this fast changing and sometimes uncertain world. Make sure you use it, keeping you, your firm and your clients safe. 

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  1. Money laundering and terrorist financing, NCA, 2019
  2. Understanding and addressing the impact of money laundering,  Chartered Institute of Taxation, 2017
  3. National strategic assessment of organised crime, NCA, 2019
  4. Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017
  5. Money laundering evaluation United Kingdom 2018, Financial Action Task Force, 2019
  6. Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017
  7. National Risk Assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing, Home Office, 2017
  8. Flag it up, HM Government, 2019
  9. Defence against money laundering, NCA, 2018
  10. Anti Money Laundering guidance for the legal sector, Legal Sector Affinity Group, 2018
  11. Economic Crime Plan, HMG, 2018
  12. Economic Crime Plan, HMG, 2018
  13. Be prepared, Law Society, 2019
  14. Residual client balances, Law Society, 2019
  15. Solicitors Accounts Rules -- what you need to know, ICAEW, 2019
  16. Financial management for SMEs, BIS, 2012 (PDF, 10 pages, 1.2MB)
  17. The Lammy Review An independent review into the treatment of, and outcomes for, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic individuals in the Criminal Justice System, 2017
  18. Mental health facts and statistics, Mind and Disability Confident employer scheme and guidance,  DWP, 2016
  19. "Presumed incompetent: Perceived lack of fit and gender bias in recruitment and selection" in Handbook of Gendered Careers in Management: Getting In, Getting On, Getting Out, M. Heilman, F. Manzi and S. Braun, 2015; “Editorial: Researching Gender, Inclusion and Diversity in Contemporary Professions and Professional Organizations” in Gender, Work and Organization 19, no. 5, D. Muzio and J. Tomlinson, 2012
  20. Communities and divisions, The Law Society’
  21. Gender Pay Gap Report, The Law Society Group, 2018
  22. Consultation on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, Government Equalities Office and The Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP, 2019
  23. FTSE 350 urged to keep up the pace to meet women on boards target, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Kelly Tolhurst MP, 2019
  24. Mitigating malware, NCSC, 2019
  25. Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2019, Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, 2019
  26. Cyber security training for staff now available, NCSC, 2019
  27. Board toolkit, NCSC, 2019
  28. You shape security, NCSC, 2019
  29. Small business guidance: response and recovery, NCSC, 2019
  30. Obsolete platforms, NCSC, 2019
  31. Time to KRACK the security patches out again, NCSC, 2017
  32. Small Business Guide, NCSC, 2019
  33. Offline backups in an online world, NCSC, 2019
  34. Three random words or #thinkrandom, NCSC, 2016
  35. Logging made easy, NCSC, 2019
  36. Cyber security training for staff, NCSC, 2019
  37. Exercise in a box, NCSC, 2019
  38. Small Business Guide, NCSC, 2019
  39. Cyber Essentials, Cyber Aware
  40. Guide to the General Data Protection Regulation, ICO, 2019
  41. Confirmation of Payee, Pay UK, 2019
  42. Wingate & Anor v The Solicitors Regulation Authority, [2018] EWCA Civ 366
  43. Leasehold and commonhold reform, House of Commons Briefing Paper, 2019
  44. Leasehold reform: twelfth report of session 2017–2019, Housing Communities and Local Government Committee, 2019
  45. Bullying and harassment in the legal profession, International Bar Assocation, 2019
  46. Sexual harassment and the law: guidance for employers, Equality and Human Rights Commission, 2019
  47. Reporting concerns: our post consultation position, SRA, 2019
  48. Crack down on misuse of non-disclosure agreements in the workplace, DBEIS, 2019
  49. CMA launches consumer law investigation into leasehold market, Competition and Markets Authority, 2019
  50. A quantitative analysis of victims of investment crime, FCA, 2014 (PDF, 24 pages, 903KB)
  51. DeLiema, M., Mottola, G. R., & Deevy, M. (2017). Findings from a Pilot Study to Measure Financial Fraud in the United States.
  52. FCA warns of increased risk of online investment fraud, FCA, 2018
  53. Applying the brakes – Slowing and stopping fraud against older people, AgeUK, 2014
  54. Scam Smart, Financial Conduct Authority, 2019
  55. How to spot an investment scam, Money Advice Service, 2019
  56. A-Z of fraud: investment fraud, Action Fraud, 2018
  57. Move to end bogus holiday sickness claims, Ministry of Justice, 2017
  58. Is claiming for whiplash a pain in the neck?, AA, 2018
  59. Cash for crash, Association of British Insurers, 2019
  60. In Barlow Clowes v Eurotrust [2005] UKPC 37.
  61. Cash for crash, Association of British Insurers, 2019
  62. Holiday sickness, Law Society, 2018
  63. Legal problem and resolution survey 2014 to 2015, Ministry of Justice, 2017
  64. Tipping the scales: access to justice in the asylum system, Refugee Action, 2018
  65. Price transparency in the legal services market: A study of small businesses with legal issues, Europe Economics and YouGov for the SRA, 2018
  66. The legal needs of small businesses 2013-2017, Legal Services Board, 2018
  67. Pricing models: Who pays in the lawyer-client relationship? Bellwether report, Lexis Nexis, 2018
  68. Check out resources such as: Plain English campaign: Research into Client Care Letters, Research into Client Care Letters, Optimisa Research for the Legal Services Consumer Panel, 2016, CILEx Regulation Limited, Costs Lawyer Standards Board, Council for Licensed Conveyancers, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Intellectual Property Regulation Board, Legal Services Consumer Panel, Master of the Faculties and SRA, 2016
  69. Price and service transparency, The Law Society, 2019
  70. National Lottery funding to boost Law Centres' digital capabilities, Law Centres Network, 2019
  71. Legal Services Act 2007
  72. Understanding consumer experiences of conveyancing legal services, IFF for the SRA, 2018;
  73. Research into Client Care Letters, Optimisa Research for the legal regulators and the Legal Services Consumer Panel, 2016
  74. Research into the experiences and effectiveness of solicitors' first tier complaints handling processes, London Economics and YouGov for the SRA. 2017;
  75. The Language of Complaints, IFF Research for the Legal Ombudsman, 2017
  76. Tracker survey 2019, Legal Services Consumer Panel, 2019 The riddle of perception: Bellwether report, Lexis Nexis, 2016 and Race to Evolve: Bellwether report,and Research into the experiences and effectiveness of solicitors' first tier complaints handling processes, London Economics and YouGov for the SRA and LeO, 2017