Issue 73 - July 2019
To help you prepare for the introduction of our new Standards and Regulations we have published the first in a series of guidance documents.
Ahead of the introduction of our new Standards and Regulations, it is important that the information we hold about all solicitors and firms in their mySRA is right.
Our Board has proposed that fee levels for individuals for the next practising year remain at the same level. These proposals are now with the Legal Services Board for approval. As part of this Compensation Fund contributions have been set at reduced levels for individuals and for firms.
Firms have made a significant improvement in the way they deal with complaints. We have published statistics on first-tier complaints received by the profession as part of a wider report on how focusing on providing a high standard of service makes sound business sense.
Our approach for making sure the profession keeps its skills and knowledge up to date has led to more reflection on learning and training needs, a new report has found. We asked for views on any changes in approach since the regime was introduced, and found that more of you are thoroughly assessing gaps and how to address them.
We launched the Legal Access Challenge to encourage innovators to develop ideas that would help to increase access to legal services for those who need them. We’ve had nearly 100 expressions of interest already ahead of the award entry deadline of August 11, and, importantly, we are supporting innovators to build networks and access expert help.
We have published a new report outlining the investigation, supervision and enforcement work we carry out. Our Upholding Professional Standards report sets out information about how complaints to us are handled, how we conduct our investigations, and how we decide whether and what sort of regulatory action is necessary.
We know that disability status is under reported across law firms. Our disability in the workplace campaign aims to bring awareness of the importance of disability inclusion in law firms, helping to foster a good working environment.
A scheme to help firms develop more LGBT+ inclusive workplaces has drawn to a close after proving a success in sharing best practice, guidance and new ideas. Our LGBT+ mentoring scheme, run in partnership with The Law Society and Stonewall, meant law firms with expertise on LGBT+ inclusion offered help and advice to 24 smaller law firms and a university. Find out what they learnt from being part of the scheme and what's been put into action.
Our Professional Ethics Helpline provides guidance and support to around 35,000 solicitors a year. There have been changes to the opening hours for our Ethics helpline recently. Those looking to access advice can now call between 09.00-13.00 and 14.00-17.00. Solicitors can get help with any ethics-related issue affecting their practice through calling 0370 606 2577 or using our webchat service.
We have published a competence support package for those of you working in youth courts. Following on from this, we have now created an easy to read leaflet that tells young people how solicitors can help them. You can find this leaflet on our website and request copies to support you when talking to younger clients.
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 being caught out?
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.
Are you worried about your health affecting your work? Life as a solicitor can be challenging and the demands and pressures can easily build up. We can signpost you to sources of help and make adjustments for you if you are in difficulty.
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