The UK's largest independent legal software provider, Eclipse Legal Systems, is set to launch a dedicated COLP and COFA toolset.
As of 1 January 2013, law firms must have a compliance officer for legal practice (COLP) and a for finance and administration (COFA). The COLP will be responsible for ensuring their firm’s compliance with all its regulatory obligations, while the COFA will be responsible for ensuring compliance with the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA) accounts rules.
Eclipse's new compliance toolset will be a fully integrated feature of the Proclaim case and practice management system, assisting with the extensive obligations required by the SRA. Among the tools that Proclaim users will have access to are:
- A risk register to track potential SRA breaches, such as client-care issues or internal issues picked up by the COLP or COFA. A management information suite will allow the flagging and analysis of breaches, as well as recording solutions and outcomes of any SRA involvement;
- A standard and configurable reporting system to interrogate data and provide insight into trends and risk levels. Reports can be automated to run with no manual intervention, streamlining the compliance process and bringing appropriate data to the attention of the COLP or COFA; and
- A Compliance Library providing a centralised store for accessing compliance plans, office manuals, and relevant SRA documentation.
Russell Thomson, chief business executive at Eclipse, said: “The perception for many firms is that setting in place systems for compliance will present a huge overhead in terms of expense and resource. By using the Proclaim toolsets we are providing, risk is better managed and the role of the COLP and COFA becomes less onerous.”