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.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is to review whether the requirement for small law firms to have compliance officers is “overkill”, it emerged today.
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.
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.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is working its way through the hundreds of firms and individuals facing enforcement action over compliance officer failures – but has now found another 205 firms that require investigation.
Requiring all 10,000 law firms to report non-material breaches to the Solicitors Regulation Authority is “unsustainable and cannot be justified”, the regulator’s board will be told today. Meanwhile, the number of firms and individuals facing action over COLP/COFA nomination failures has risen to 928.
Law firms will be held responsible for breaching the personal injury referral fee ban if they sign up to ventures that appear to be genuine joint marketing schemes but prove illegal, the Solicitors Regulation Authority has warned. It will also target senior individuals within firms that “recklessly trade into insolvency”.
The total number of firms and individuals in trouble with the Solicitors Regulation Authority over nominations for compliance officers has risen by a third in the past month to nearly 800, it has emerged.