Some “genuinely shocking” cases of money laundering by law firms are currently going through the disciplinary system, a senior manager at the Solicitors Regulation Authority has warned the profession.
“Overwhelming disagreement” made the Solicitors Regulation Authority abandon a plan to make compliance officers sign declarations that their firms followed the accounts rules, it has emerged. But further changes to accountant’s reports are coming.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is to review whether the requirement for small law firms to have compliance officers is “overkill”, it emerged today.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority has unveiled plans to remove the requirement that firms have their client accounts reviewed by an independent accountant and submit an annual accountant’s report.
Let’s not underestimate the pace of change in the legal regulatory landscape over the past couple of years. Developments have been unprecedented, relentless and, at times, frustrating. 2014 is set to be another busy year for compliance officers with yet more regulatory upheaval. And it all kicks off in January with a review of the compliance officer for finance and administration (COFA) role.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority has launched “forensic investigations” into 10 law firms that may have breached the personal injury referral fee ban, in a move that will be seen as a warning to the profession. Meanwhile, 141 firms without indemnity insurance are heading for closure.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority has begun a review of the role of compliance officers for finance and administration, less than a year since they took up their posts. Meanwhile, it has expressed concern about the lack of self-reporting by firms.
More than a year on from the deadline for law firms to nominate their compliance officers for legal practice and for finance and administration, and 40 practices still remain without anyone in place, the Solicitors Regulation Authority has revealed.
More than 600 law firms and individuals have so far had their cards marked by the Solicitors Regulation Authority over failures associated with the nomination of compliance officers, it has emerged. A further 139 investigations remain live.
Your COFA should live, sleep, eat and breathe financial management. This isn’t optional; rule 1 of the Accounts Rules demands compliance with the SRA principles and Code of Conduct in relation to effective financial management of the firm. So what is effective financial management? Outcomes-focused regulation usually means you have to guess what the SRA expects; however, in a rare moment of clarity, the SRA has explained exactly what good and bad financial management looks like.