Issue 77 - March 2020
Welcome to the latest issue of SRA Update. We will be publishing the bulletin on the first Thursday of each month. By publishing more frequently, we hope to provide you with key updates and information on a more timely basis, while also removing the need to send you further emails in between.
This issue includes information on anti-money laundering work, our transparency rules and how to find out more information on the Solicitors Qualifying Examination.
Money laundering is a priority risk for us as solicitors and their firms – handling large sums of money - remain attracting to criminals looking to process their ill-gotten gains. We continue to work with you all to make sure you have effective processes in place to keep money launderers out of the profession.
It is now 100 days since we introduced Standards and Regulations, our new set of rules for firms and individuals. Moving to the new regime has gone smoothly, with many of you using the resources available on our website to see what, if any, changes you need to make.
Our transparency rules are aimed at making it easier for the public and businesses to access the legal services they need. Across a range of common areas, they require you to publish on your website – if you have one – information about costs, your services and who will carry out work.
As we work towards the introduction of our Solicitors Qualifying Examination in September next year, are continuing to make information available to you about how it might impact you and the way you work. Find out about the latest information we have published, view our new videos on qualifying work experience and sign up for our coming webinars.
We are currently consulting on updated proposals on how the SRA Compensation Fund operates. The proposed changes seek to strike the right balance between protecting clients’ money and making sure the Fund remains sustainable. The Fund provides an essential safety net for those who need it when things go wrong. However, funding the scheme comes at a cost, borne by the wider profession and therefore ultimately, the users of legal services.
Owners of closed firms should be aware that the Solicitors Indemnity Fund (SIF) will cease providing supplementary run off cover to firms on 30 September 2020. That means that former firm owners should consider whether they need to make arrangements to cover for claims made after that date. This also affects those of you looking to close in the near future.
We have a competence support package for those of you working in youth courts, which includes 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?
Do you want to know about 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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