Compliance officers

You are reading current version in effect from 25 November 2019
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You are reading current version in effect from 25 November 2019

Guidance

Guidance

Approval of role holders

This guidance is about how we approve persons to be managers, owners or compliance officers of firms we regulate.

Responsibilities of COLPs and COFAs

To assist COLPs and COFAs in understanding their duties and responsibilities.

Glossary terms

authorised body

means:

  1. a body that has been authorised by the SRA to practise as a licensed body or a recognised body; or
  2. a sole practitioner's practice that has been authorised by the SRA as a recognised sole practice
COLP

means compliance officer for legal practice and in relation to a licensable body is a reference to its HOLP

COFA

means a compliance officer for finance and administration and in relation to a licensable body is a reference to its HOFA

SRA

means the Solicitors Regulation Authority

manager

means:

  1. the sole principal in a recognised sole practice;
  2. a member of a LLP;
  3. a director of a company;
  4. a partner in a partnership; or
  5. in relation to any other body, a member of its governing body
employee

means an individual who is:

  1. engaged under a contract of service by a person, firm or organisation or its wholly owned service company;
  2. engaged under a contract for services, made between a firm or organisation and:
    1. that individual;
    2. an employment agency; or
    3. a company which is not held out to the public as providing legal services and is wholly owned and directed by that individual, or


      under which the person, firm or organisation has exclusive control over the individual's time for all or part of the individual's working week, save that:

      1. for the purposes of the SRA Financial Services (Scope) Rules, means an individual who is employed in connection with the firm's regulated financial services activities under a contract of service or under a contract for services such that he or she is held out as an employee or consultant of the firm
      2. for the purposes of the SRA Indemnity Insurance Rules and the MTC, means any person other than a principal:
        1. employed or otherwise engaged in the insured firm's practice (including under a contract for services) including, without limitation, as a solicitor, lawyer, trainee solicitor or trainee lawyer, consultant, associate, locum tenens, agent, appointed person, office or clerical staff member or otherwise;

        2. seconded to work in the insured firm's practice; or
        3. seconded by the insured firm to work elsewhere,

        but does not include any person who is engaged by the insured firm under a contract for services in respect of any work where that person is required, whether under the SRA Indemnity Insurance Rules or under the rules of any other professional body, to take out or to be insured under separate professional indemnity insurance in respect of that work

and the term "employer" is to be construed accordingly

HOLP

means a Head of Legal Practice within the meaning of paragraph 11(2) of Schedule 11 to the LSA

HOFA

means a Head of Finance and Administration within the meaning of paragraph 13(2) of Schedule 11 to the LSA

LSA

means the Legal Services Act 2007

reserved legal activities

has the meaning given in section 12 of the LSA

approved regulator

means any body listed as an approved regulator in paragraph 1 of Schedule 4 to the LSA or designated as an approved regulator by an order under paragraph 17 of that Schedule

compliance officer

is a reference to a body's COLP or its COFA

owner

means, in relation to a body, a person with any interest in the body, save that:

  1. in the SRA Authorisation of Firms Rules, and the SRA Authorisation of Individuals Regulations, owner means any person who holds a material interest in an authorised body, and in the case of a partnership, any partner regardless of whether they hold a material interest in the partnership; and
  2. for the purposes of the SRA Principles and the SRA Code of Conduct for Firms means a person who holds a material interest in the body; and
  3. for the purposes of the SRA Assessment of Character and Suitability Rules includes owners who have no active role in the running of the business as well as owners who do,

and "own" and "owned" shall be construed accordingly