From Legal Futures Associate Amy Bell, CEO of Teal Compliance.
At the recent Teal Compliance Conference, we had some fun with one of those new fangled audience voting tools. It meant that we could ask the delegates all sorts of interesting questions, which they could answer completely anonymously. That’s the trouble with law firm compliance – it can often be difficult for firms to ask (or answer) the questions they really want to for fear of being named and shamed for getting it wrong.
The exercise revealed some pretty interesting stats.
The AML question
First off we asked firms how confident they were that they had fully implemented the new AML regulations.
Only 30% of firms said that they were confident or very confident. Bearing in mind the relative newness of the regulations, this is not a surprise. Although the warning bells should be jangling pretty loudly for the two thirds of firms have a potential gap in their AML armoury.
When it comes to GDPR only 4% of firms confirmed that they were all sorted and ready for 25th May. However, 57% of firms did state that they thought they were nearly there, and of course, as we all know, GDPR is about the journey not the destination, so it was heartening to see that most firms are well and truly on the GDPR train.
We chose to believe that the 17% of firms who answered ‘GDPR- what’s that now?’ were were probably joking.
When it came to cyber crime, a frightening 79% of firms stated that cyber criminals had targeted their firm, proving that this isn’t something that happens to other firms, and all solicitors’ practices need to have processes to address this risk centre forwards in their risk and compliance strategies
Interestingly the remaining 21% stated that their firm had not been targeted by the baddies. A challenge we threw back at these firms was ‘how do you know?’
Effective use of technology to support risk and compliance functions is one of the core consultancy subjects at Teal Compliance, so we asked firms what their current tech framework looked like. Whilst all the delegates had case management systems in place, 40% of firms ran multiple systems, which we know can cause a plethora of issues when it comes to risk management; from reporting, to standardisation of key compliance precedents such as TOBs and CCLs.
The sense in the room was that the answers provided by the delegates to these various compliance questions were probably fairly representative of the profession at large, and they did provide an interesting insight into where firms are up to in grappling with some of the current compliance requirements.
Oh and one final stat, just in case you’re interested. 53% of lawyers prefer coffee as their morning drink.