Insight: Regulation & Compliance

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21 April 2015


The first in our quarterly Insight series looks at the regulation of legal services and how it is changing.

It explores different reactions to four fundamental changes the profession is having to grapple with this year – the end of hours-based professional development, the arrival of a real choice of regulator, changes to the Separate Business Rule and the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s plans to slim down the Accounts Rules and the Code of Conduct.

It finds that there is currently no consensus on the best way forward on any of these issues. Some believe solicitors, particularly in small firms, are burdened by too many rules, while other believe a lack of rules will only create huge amounts of guidance. Likewise, the Separate Business Rule has powerful advocates and equally determined opponents.

Even on ‘continuing competence’, there is no agreement on whether an hours-based approach is a good or bad thing. Meanwhile, as the number of legal regulators doubles to four, the heads of the Solicitors Regulation Authority, CILEx Regulation, the Bar Standards Board and Council for Licensed Conveyancers set out their stalls, giving us some idea where future battle lines will be drawn.


Legal Futures Blog

The skills shortage in law firms is the biggest threat to handling cybercrime

CLC Roundtable discussion at Malmaison Hotel, Charterhouse Square

The skills shortage in our businesses is the biggest threat to our industry when looking at cybercrime. Cybercriminals are not just after money but are looking for sensitive information too, so the legal services sector is an obvious target. In the last year we have had reports of around £7m of client money being lost to such crime. This is not an IT issue and it should not be left to the IT teams to sort out. It is a high-level responsibility and a board-level issue that must be taken seriously. We suspect that we will look back on 2016 and ask why we didn’t respond quicker.

March 21st, 2017