There are an awful lot of lawyers out there who don’t understand Legal Risk Management. Unfortunately, especially for those involved in running law firms (which includes anyone classed as an owner/manager so therefore all partners), this is worrying considering mandatory principle 8 which states “You must run your business or carry out your role in the business effectively and in accordance with proper governance and sound financial and risk management principles”.
However, it’s not really the lawyers fault given that unless you’ve undertaken specific training, this is not something we were taught in our years of study. The SRA have published an awful lot of very informative and helpful information around their own Risk Management Strategy but this is only useful for those who have the luxury of time to read through the volumes of information.
There’s been a lot of talk recently about Artificial Intelligence dramatically reducing the need for as many lawyers over the next 15 years; this follows the report by Jomati Consultants called Civilisation 2030: The near future for law firms. Even if you think this is far-fetched, there is no doubt that over the last couple of decades the legal profession has seen a dramatic growth in process driven work; I know that things are very different from when I started in practice 20 years ago. Indeed, even now case management systems and other computerised processes routinely carry out many elements of the work which used be completed by lawyers or secretaries.
When you couple this with the fact that technological and societal advances mean that purchasers of legal services are becoming increasingly sophisticated and expecting more value for money and better service, it’s clear that being a lawyer now requires a different skill set than most lawyers have learnt at law school. Continue reading →
Given the increasing focus in legal services regulation on client care and risk management, it’s clear that it’s not a question of whether you audit, it’s how you do it. In this blog, we will highlight some of the considerations and decisions you will need to make to have an effective legal file auditing programme.
One of the important decisions you will need to make is whether to outsource or not but before we get to that, there are some other considerations…
While the UK benefits from its status as a global hub for financial services, issues that pose a significant threat to the UK‘s competitiveness in global financial services included: uncertainty in regulatory outlook; an aggressive regulatory attitude; uncertainty around taxation; a relative deterioration in access to talent and skills; capacity constraints in physical infrastructure; and increased competition from other financial centres.
In an SRA survey of 1000 firms published in February 2013 to determine their current feelings and experience around compliance, the respondents estimated that just under a fifth of a COLP and COFA time will be spent on matters relating to ‘compliance with the SRA’s regulation’ as opposed to other fee earning or business activities.
In an SRA survey of 1000 firms published in February 2013 to determine their current feelings and experience around compliance, 40% of firms stated that they are continuing to approach compliance in exactly the same way, with the exception of nominating their COLP or COFA
In an SRA survey of 1000 firms published in February 2013 to determine their current feelings and experience around compliance, only 51% of respondents ‘strongly agreed’ or ‘agreed’ that ‘OFR makes it clear what outcomes the SRA expects to be delivered.