Issue 23 – September 2017

Welcome to Compliance News, the e-newsletter for COLPs and COFAs. Issue 23 includes information on this year's compliance officer conference, warnings about holiday sickness, offensive communications and PPI, and guidance on firm authorisation.

Our fifth annual conference just for compliance officers takes place on Tuesday, 31 October, at the National Motorcycle Museum near Solihull in the West Midlands. Nearly all places have now been taken, so sign up quickly to secure your place.

Read more about: Conference 2017

The renewal exercise for the practising year 2017/18 opens on Monday, 2 October. You will have until Tuesday, 31 October, to submit your application. We have help available both by phone and online if you need help with the process.

Read more about: Practising certificate renewals

We have published a warning notice on around holiday sickness claims, where there has been a reported 500 percent increase in the last few years. Others are concerned that some of the claims are not genuine and you should take the necessary steps to make sure you know the details of your client's case.

Read more about: Holiday sickness

We have published a warning notice on offensive communications, reminding you of your responsibilities when committing words to emails or social media. If you are identifiable as a solicitor, then the words you write in a personal capacity could also see you facing misconduct allegations.

Read more about: Offensive communications

Our Professional Ethics team has received numerous queries about when a company should or should not be regulated by us. We have therefore produced some guidance on how Section 15 of the Legal Services Act applies to various organisations that do not operate in the same way as traditional law firms.

Read more about: Firm authorisation

There are now less than two years to go until the deadline for claims from those that believe they were mis-sold payment protection insurance on a financial product. Some of you are helping the public with their applications, and we have published a notice about the conduct we expect from you when working in this area.

Read more about: PPI claims

Your firm could now face enforcement action from the Treasury if you fail to report information that undermines UK financial sanctions. There has always been a responsibility to report, but now the Treasury has the power to punish any firm that fails in its obligation.

Read more about: Financial sanctions

Cybercrime is the fastest-growing crime in the country, accounting for more than 75 percent of all reports to the police. Law firms, handling large amounts of client money, are prime targets for such criminals. Are you doing all that you can to minimise the risk of your firm getting caught out?

Read more about: Cybercrime

We have now moved to a new approach to continuing competence. This replaces the old CPD 'hours' regime. As part of your PC renewal, you will need to make a declaration about your training needs and how you addressed them. View our helpful toolkit now.

Read more about: Continuing competence

Our proposed new Corporate Strategy was published last week and outlines our ongoing commitment to maintaining high professional standards in the public interest. We are also asking for your views on the five key aims we have set out as part of our strategy. Are we focusing on the right things? Please respond by Thursday, 21 September.

Read more about: Consultation: Corporate Strategy, 2017-20