Issue 24 - December 2017

Welcome to the latest issue of Compliance News, the newsletter just for COLPs and COFAs.This edition sees a focus on the new anti-money-laundering regulations, in particular the need for us to collect more in-depth information about you and your firm. You can also find new guidance about third-party-managed accounts and catch up from all the sessions at our recent Compliance Conference.

The new money-laundering regulations introduced by the Government in June placed new duties and tasks on you as solicitors and us as your regulator. One of those tasks involves collecting more in-depth information about you and your firm.

Read more about: Anti-money-laundering regulations

The guidance explains what steps you should take when you want to engage a TPMA provider, the type of TPMA you can use, what you should do to make sure your client understands how their money is being held, and what you should tell us as your regulator.You do not need our permission to use a TPMA, but you do need to tell us if you are using one

Read more about: Third-party-managed accounts

Following a consultation in May, we have approved the regulations that bring into force the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE). The SQE is a new assessment to make sure all those entering the profession meet consistent, high standards. We made a number of changes based on consultation responses, including bolstering assurances around qualifying work experience.

Read more about: SQE regulations

Our fifth conference just for compliance officers took place at the end of October, and record numbers of you came along, with more than 1,000 people attending. Topics covered ranged from cybercrime to GDPR, anti-money laundering to the SQE. Videos of each session and the materials used on the day are now available on our website.

Read more about: Compliance officer conference

Our business plan, which lays out the steps we will take to achieve the aims of our corporate strategy, has now been published on our website. The corporate strategy, which was also recently published following a short consultation exercise, maps out what we want to do over the next three years.

Read more about: Business plan

We have published a review highlighting examples of how you can make your firm more diverse and inclusive, and how it can benefit your business. The review involved more than 40 law firms, and includes a range of examples of good practice.

Read more about: Improving diversity

We have updated our Risk Outlook. The fifth Outlook, which came out in July, identified eight priority risks for the sector which you should assess to see how they affect your firms and take steps to mitigate against them. The autumn additions focus on money laundering, investment schemes and access to justice.

Read more about: Risk Outlook

Action Fraud has launched a new 24/7 reporting service for organisations suffering live cyberattacks. A live attack is one that is ongoing, that is still affecting your system and your ability to work, and there is an opportunity for law enforcement to stop the attack and/or secure evidence that will assist an investigation. Their advisors are waiting to take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, on 0300 123 2040.

Read more about: Help from Action Fraud

Want to know the high-risk scams that could affect your business? Our new round-up brings together the latest risks and advice on how to help keep your firm safe.

Read more about: New round-up to help you tackle scams

The Law Society is aware that a number of members have received an email through its Find a Solicitor site referring to a P1 and P2 form. This email is not from the Law Society and it strongly recommends that you do not open the attachments on the email.

Read more about: Scam using Find a Solicitor

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

You still have two weeks to comment on our latest ‘Looking to the future’ Handbook proposals, which will further cut unnecessary bureaucracy so you can focus more on growing your business. We are consulting on our second phase of plans to create an even simpler, clearer handbook that puts the onus on high standards and trusting your professional judgment.

Read more about: Handbook