Hundreds of solicitors and firms in the dock for COLP and COFA failures


Townsend: robust approach to enforcement

More than 600 solicitors and law firms are facing action over their failures in nominating compliance officers, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has revealed.

Enforcement action is being taken over failing to disclose information relevant to the nomination (448 cases), and failing to co-operate with the SRA either in not nominating anyone or failing to provide the SRA with information associated with a nomination (200 cases).

An as-yet unspecified number of solicitors and firms will also face action for breach of the authorisation rules/practising regulation because they did not have an approved compliance officer for legal practice and for finance and administration (COLP/COFA) in place on 1 January.

In his report to tomorrow’s SRA board meeting, chief executive Antony Townsend said that nominations from 307 firms have yet to be approved, while 118 firms have yet to complete the process.

Of the 307, most have been held up by late submission, unknown or declared suitability issues, nominees with pending disciplinary matters, re-nominations, and data issues (incorrect SRA numbers being cited, meaning the authority cannot check the identity of the nominee).

Mr Townsend said: “This level of non-cooperation and non-disclosure is concerning and disappointing. We have previously stated our intention to adopt a robust approach to enforcement in order to establish a credible deterrent to future non-cooperation and non-disclosure.

“In addition, those firms that do not have an approved COLP and COFA will be at risk of proceedings to revoke their licence or recognition of as a sole practitioner.”

Tags:




Leave a Comment

By clicking Submit you consent to Legal Futures storing your personal data and confirm you have read our Privacy Policy and section 5 of our Terms & Conditions which deals with user-generated content. All comments will be moderated before posting.

Required fields are marked *
Email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Reports

No larger firm can ignore the demands of innovation – that was the clear message from our most recent roundtable: “The law firm of the future”, sponsored by LexisNexis Enterprise Solutions. It comes in many forms, predominantly but not just technology, and is not simply a case of automating process. Expertise and process are not mutually exclusive.

Blog

14 December 2018

The Leigh Day Letters: Looking for the smoking gun

So what to make of the correspondence published yesterday by the Solicitors Regulation Authority about its dealings with the government over the Leigh Day case?

Read More