As of 1st January 2013, authorised legal services firms must have a Compliance Officer for Legal Practice (COLP) and a Compliance Officer for Finance and Administration (COFA).
According to the SRA COLPs and COFAs ‘play a key role in the SRA’s regime of outcomes-focused regulation, aimed at producing the most appropriate outcomes for consumers of legal services. The COLP and COFA will be instrumental in creating a culture of compliance throughout a firm, becoming its focal point for the identification of risk, and the key point of contact for the SRA.’
Unsurprisingly, Law Firms have not been overly keen on being tied down by more red tape and in fact, Legal Futures reported recently that over 600 solicitors and law firms were facing potential action from the SRA for failing to nominate compliance persons.
Martin MacDuff, Managing Director of Redbrick Solutions comments “Before we implement any new form of technology or enhanced functionality to our products we make a point of consulting our client firms to find out what they really want and need to make their lives easier. What we were hearing again and again was that the introduction of COLPs and COFAs confused a lot of people and the onerous commitments made them actually quite nervous. What we have tried to do with this new toolkit is to help nominated persons manage their responsibilities in a more efficient and safe manner and to alleviate some of the burden that they are feeling at the moment.”
Redbrick Practice Management and Business Intelligence now has a fully integrated, extensive toolkit designed to support the requirements and responsibilities of nominated persons.
- The full set of Law Society COLP and COFA forms.
- Restricted access files for nominated persons to record information on breaches, SRA involvement and outcomes.
- Customisable reports to provide insight into trends and risk levels. Reports can be automated to run with no manual intervention, delivered directly to your email inbox at selected times, streamlining the compliance process and flagging appropriate data for the attention of the nominated party.
- A Compliance database to store all of your important compliance related documents.
For further information or to make an enquiry please see the website
We are running a serious of Compliance workshops for Managing Partners and nominated persons during May, at venues in Central London, Manchester and Birmingham. Expert speakers will cover a host of relevant and timely topics including:
- Extent of responsibilities – a more detailed review of the Handbook
- Personal protection – running through typical changes to constitutional documents and/or a side letter.
- Personal protection – a look at insurance policies
- Basic staff training requirements, practical expectations of fee earners, what to look for in a file review, and whistleblowing policies
- Material breaches – what guidance is available, what are the key factors – some interactive case studies
- What to expect in the Annual Information Report
- An update on latest developments from the SRA
- Are your systems for internal reporting and supervision adequate
Tickets are due to go on sale shortly and will be available from Redbrick Solutions website here or by calling them on 0845 166 2629.