Compliance challenge

I’m fighting a losing battle in making the partners see the importance of compliance being embedded across the firm. All they see is cost and effort is there a compelling business case I can put forward to convince them otherwise?

If they do not at least put in place sufficient procedures to comply with the SRA Code of Conduct 2011, they will not be in business for much longer. If that is not compelling enough for them, I would find another partnership to join. The cost of not complying with the Code is now loss of their business.

The minimum standard is the Code. There is very little guidance from the SRA on how firms can evidence compliance with the code, but they have confirmed that those firms that have the Lexcel Standard will be 95% of the way there. Therefore it seems obvious that the Lexcel Quality Standard is now something well worth achieving, particularly as it will allow your Compliance Officer for Legal Practice and Compliance Officer for Finance and Administration to sleep more peacefully at night!

If you undertake conveyancing work, you will need to have achieved the Conveyancing Quality Standard to continue to do work for most lenders very soon. Again there is a compelling argument for the conveyancing department at least to comply with minimum standards.

If you undertake Publicly Funded work, you will need to comply with the Specialist Quality Mark to continue to work for the LSC. Again a compelling argument for those departments to work towards compliant standards as a matter of urgency.

There is no escape! Bad practice is no longer going to be tolerated by the SRA, the Legal Ombudsman, the lenders, nor most clients. You will need to be compliant to remain in business.