Compliance and business systems

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You are reading current version in effect from 25 November 2019



Responsibilities of COLPs and COFAs

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

The Insurance Act 2015

Changes to the minimum terms and conditions (MTC) of solicitors' professional indemnity insurance (PII).

Money laundering and terrorist financing

This notice highlights warning signs of suspicious transactions; solicitors should be aware of the warning signs, which may require you to take action in order to avoid committing a criminal offence or breaching your professional obligations under the SRA Handbook.

Tax avoidance your duties

Solicitors and firms advising clients about tax, or handle client matters of tax affairs, schemes or arrangements. It is important that you are aware of these arrangements.

Money laundering and terrorist financing suspicious activity reports

This notice highlights warning signs of suspicious transactions; you should be aware of the warning signs.

Glossary terms


means the Solicitors Regulation Authority

regulatory arrangements

has the meaning given to it by section 21 of the LSA



  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
interest holder

means a person who has an interest or an indirect interest, or holds a material interest, in a body (and "indirect interest" and "interest" have the same meaning as in the LSA), and references to "holds an interest" shall be construed accordingly

compliance officer

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

connected practices

means a body providing legal services, established outside England and Wales which is not an overseas practice or an excluded body but is otherwise connected to an authorised body in England and Wales, by virtue of:

  1. being a parent undertaking, within the meaning of section 1162 of the Companies Act 2006, of the authorised body;
  2. being jointly managed or owned, or having a partner, member or owner in common, or controlled by or, with the authorised body;
  3. participating in a joint enterprise or across its practice generally, sharing costs, revenue or profits related to the provision of legal services with the authorised body; or
  4. common branding,

    and in this definition:

    1. a "body" means a natural person or company, LLP or partnership or other body corporate or unincorporated association or business entity; and
    2. an "excluded body" means a body which is part of:
      1. a Verein or similar group structure involving more than one body providing legal services in respect of which the authorised body in England and Wales connected to it is not regarded as being the body which is the headquarters of that Verein or similar group structure or a significant part of it;
      2. a joint practice, alliance or association or association with the authorised body in England and Wales connected to it which is controlled by a body providing legal services outside England and Wales; or
      3. a group of affiliated bodies providing legal services which is not managed or controlled by an authorised body in England and Wales
    3. A "joint enterprise" means any contractual arrangements between two or more independent bodies which provide legal services, for profit and/or other defined purpose or goal which apply generally between them, not just agreed on a matter by matter basis
    4. "Common branding" means the use of a name, term, design, symbol, words or a combination of these that identifies two or more legal practices as distinct from other legal practices or an express statement that a legal practice is practising in association with one or more other named firms