By Legal Futures’ Associates Lawyer Checker
The legal sector is embracing a brave new world of providing legal services. We are no longer able to meet with clients face to face and are encountering difficulties in remaining regulatory compliant at a time when legal services are still in high demand.
Working remotely throws up a number of hurdles which will need to be successfully navigated before the legal process can proceed.
When legal practitioners need to marry up their social responsibilities with regulatory obligations, the sector is in need of innovative solutions.
So, what are the common obstacles and are there any solutions available to help legal practitioners?
Onboarding clients is going to become difficult in the weeks and months ahead
Government advice requires all people to work from home wherever possible and for people to remain in their homes unless they leave for exercise or essential items.
Identity and Know your Client (KYC) checks become a burdensome and time-consuming barrier in the current climate.
Asking clients to send scanned copies of physical documents takes time, causes delays and can throw up a plethora of security concerns.
Fortunately, electronic verification technology means relying on scanned copies of physical documents is not necessary. Lawyer Checker can help law firms reduce delays and increase efficiency.
Via an easy to use app, digital ID checks and facial recognition technology are combined to ensure that all ID verification is completed quickly. An additional layer of verification scrutinises the validity of the documentation to provide further surety.
Remaining efficient in difficult working conditions
The government’s employee retention scheme allows businesses to furlough their employees on 80 per cent pay until the UK coronavirus threat peaks and lockdown restrictions are eased.
The economic situation at present is precarious and law firms will need to start taking advantage of the scheme, at least temporarily, in order to protect the firm and its employees.
This could put a strain on those providing legal services as furloughed employees are not permitted to work under the terms of the scheme.
Creating efficient processes will therefore become crucial. Legal practitioners will need to ensure that the way they are working is not inadvertently elongating the legal process.
KYC checks can become one of the most time-consuming parts of the preliminary legal workload. Using Lawyer Checker’s ID verification tool will reduce time to onboard clients when staffing levels may present an additional pressure and ensure due diligence is being maintained.
Remaining Compliant When Working Remotely
The government are now easing Right to Rent legislation to allow landlords to accept copies of original documents. Human eyes are already not the most trustworthy or accurate source of truth. Even when a legal practitioner has the original document, they may be unable to differentiate between a legitimate and fake document.
Already, in the early stages of the pandemic, unscrupulous criminals are using the virus to their advantage. At a time when legal practitioners do not have their support networks and security frameworks, fraudsters will inevitably try to take advantage of the situation.
When it comes to obtaining physical or certified copies of ID in the pre-engagement process when helping people make a will, private client departments will need to find a more agile way of working to ensure that all regulatory procedures are properly followed.
Similarly, legal practitioners working in areas of law requiring Anti-Money Laundering (AML) checks will need to find ways of completing this process when offices are closed and physical documents cannot be assessed.
Lawyer Checker can ensure KYC checks are completed in minutes, source of funds are verified effectively using secure bank linking technology and politically exposed persons (PEP) and sanctions screenings are carried out.
The comprehensive digital solution will increase efficiency, take the strain away from remote workers and ensure that all due diligence is fully compliant with both government advice and regulatory rules.
For more information on how Lawyer Checker can help your law firm, contact our resident expert, Tom Lyes to organise a demonstration or informal chat firstname.lastname@example.org.