My name is Alison Gorringe. I am the CEO of the Institute of Legal Cashiers & Administrators, based in Sidcup, Kent. I am saddened to hear and read bad press about the legal profession.
We are barely in to the New Year and already I have read articles in the Law Society Gazette about law firms being closed down over suspected dishonesty and breaches of Solicitors Accounts Rules and solicitors facing accusations of mortgage fraud. What is the profession coming to?
If only solicitors would acknowledge that they have studied and now practise law rather than legal accounting. The question I keep asking myself is, why do these few solicitors’ practices prefer to opt out by running the accounting procedures themselves with little or no accounting knowledge, rather than pay a fair wage to a properly qualified legal cashier/accounts manager (whatever the title) who specialises in this field and knows what should and should not happen in the accounts department ?
Instead they employ an inexperienced accounts person who does not have a clue what the Solicitors Accounts Rules are. These unqualified personnel can easily be manipulated by solicitors who want to flout the rules and act fraudulently.
Let us eradicate this behaviour now by ensuring that solicitors’ firms only employ properly qualified legal cashiers in their accounts departments.