Accounts rules

End of the annual accountant’s report is nigh

8 May 2014

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has unveiled plans to remove the requirement that firms have their client accounts reviewed by an independent accountant and submit an annual accountant’s report.

SRA faces ‘timebomb’ of risk from foreign lawyers, says Italian who learnt from rule breaches

28 January 2014

An Italian lawyer has warned of a ‘timebomb’ of regulatory risk among foreign lawyers practising in England and Wales, and urged European law firms to ensure they understood what was required to comply with conduct rules.

Official secrets

17 June 2013

Your COFA should live, sleep, eat and breathe financial management. This isn’t optional; rule 1 of the Accounts Rules demands compliance with the SRA principles and Code of Conduct in relation to effective financial management of the firm. So what is effective financial management? Outcomes-focused regulation usually means you have to guess what the SRA expects; however, in a rare moment of clarity, the SRA has explained exactly what good and bad financial management looks like.

EU anti-money laundering plans put client confidentiality at risk, Law Society warns

12 February 2013

Client confidentiality could be undermined by proposed changes to the European money laundering directive, the Law Society has warned. The removal of simplified due diligence provisions for client accounts is among a number of proposals to which the society objects.

London-based Italian lawyers sanctioned over volume overseas conveyancing

8 February 2013

The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) has ruled that three Italian lawyers based in London committed a host of accounting irregularities while acting for clients in overseas property deals.

Chambers sign up to escrow account pilot after FSA gives green light

10 January 2013

Ten chambers have signed up to the pilot of Barco, the Bar Council’s third-party escrow account that will allow barristers to handle client money. It follows the Financial Services Authority granting regulatory approval for the service under the Payment Services Regulations.

SRA mulls making firms that want to hold client money seek permission

8 January 2013

The Solicitors Regulation Authority giving solicitors positive permission to hold client money is one of the options it will consider as part of the review of conveyancing, it has emerged. It has also expressed concern about mortgage lenders using solicitors as an insurance policy against problems.

Hudson: give law firms option of ditching client account

19 November 2012

The Law Society is to investigate giving solicitors the choice of not having a client account as a way to reduce the cost of regulation, it has emerged. Chief executive Des Hudson said the “cost and burden of regulation will have to fall” to enable solicitors to compete.

In brief: regulators reassure firms over RBS ‘breaches’, £1m apprenticeships boost and more

25 June 2012

Our latest round-up of key news includes the SRA and CLC offering relief to solicitors in breach because of RBS/NatWest computer problems, £1m of government money for legal apprenticeships, a destination for dormant client money, the Co-op’s new will-writing partnership, and much more.

Firms “need to develop” whistleblowing and client account interest policies

12 April 2012

Law firms need to establish policies on whistleblowing and the interest they pay to clients, according to a leading regulatory solicitor. Other key issues troubling firms include preparing a business plan and compliance with provisions on outsourcing.

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Katie McKenna

How is your internal weather today?

Like the weather, our feelings and perspectives change and undulate throughout the day. When you look outside, you get a snapshot of the world in that moment.

Anything else to say about SDLT?

SDLT is not stamp duty. This is something I have to say to firms too often. Whilst it has some of the same words in its name, it is not the former tax on property deeds that existed pre-December 2003.

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