What we do
Centrix Legal in conjunction with its strategic partner Infolegal Ltd has created a Compliance Hub to make compliance and regulation easier within your firm.
The challenges of managing a law firm have never been greater. Economic and political uncertainty combined with the vagaries of outcomes-focused regulation, the requirements of money laundering legislation and increased competition has meant that managing a legal practice has required an ever increasing time and financial commitment.
Our aim is to help you and your practice to reduce the time and cost impact by providing practical, firm-focused support for law practices of all types and sizes.
The Hub is your one stop resource giving you access to all of the information, documents, precedents, training and support that your firm will need to help ensure compliance with the SRA Handbook and other regulatory requirements whilst our consultancy services can address specific problems within your firm in the most practical and cost effective way.
Priced according to the size of your firm, subscribers have access to a wide range of information and resources including:
(a). Solicitors Office Procedures Manual
Published by Professional Compliance Publishing, the Solicitors Office Procedures Manual is available to all Hub subscribers.
The Solicitors Office Procedures Manual has been designed to enable you to deal with all of your compliance needs from one easy-to-use source. Whatever your type or size of practice the ‘mix and match’ approach adopted by this book will enable you to address any or all of the following:
• The SRA Code of Conduct 2011 and other key elements of the SRA Handbook
• Lexcel version 6
• The procedural elements of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme
• The Specialist Quality Mark (2012 edition)
• The Legal Aid Agency’s contract – Crime, Family and Civil
(b).Training Hub including all courses and training planning/recording functions
Our range of online training modules allow you and others within your firm to keep up to date with the main aspects of, and developments in, compliance – whilst allowing you to demonstrate to the SRA that your firm, and those within it, have undertaken relevant training.
Available from the web site, the various training modules can be watched as many times as the firm chooses and by as many people as need training. This can be as and when is convenient to the person being trained rather than requiring them to attend formal presentations or register for fixed-time webinars.
The training modules on offer include:
• The Authorisation Process – including SRA expectations, the forms that need to be completed, risk assessments and issues relevant to the ABS.
• Training for COLPs and COFAs – aimed both at those new to the role and those who wish to refresh themselves on some of the requirements
• Confidentiality and Disclosure – an introduction for everyone within the firm to an area of importance to all clients.
• Conflict of Interests – an overview plus a look at the SRA regulations, the law, systems for preventing conflicts, and safeguards.
• Equality and Diversity – providing an overview of the rules, law and principles that underpin them and how firms can ensure they remain equal and diverse.
• Financial Stability – a major factor in effective business management and one which firms need to address if they are to avoid falling foul of the SRA’s requirements.
• Client Care – aimed at everyone within the firm and giving an overview of the importance of client care provisions, complaint handling and dealing with the LeO.
• Money Laundering – looking at the laws and regulations and including customer due diligence, disclosure, tipping-off and what to be aware of when acting for clients.
• Accounts Rules – courses presented both from the perspective of the COFA and the non-manager staff member perspective
(c).Regulatory and practice-related precedents and documents to use within your practice,
All Hub subscribers have access to our growing range of compliance documents and precedents as part of their subscription.
The documents and precedents to which users will have access include a range of policies, pro-formas, template letters and other materials – some stand-alone and some within the Office Procedures Manual – and all will be added to and augmented as circumstances dictate.
(d).Factsheets, guides and compliance information, and
All Hub subscriptions provide the user with access to our complete range of factsheets and guidance notes.
Regularly updated and added to, our factsheets and guidance notes provide you with “first-port-of-call” information on a wide range of regulatory and practice management related topics. Currently these include:
• Business Continuity Planning
• Money Laundering Regulations 2007
• Complaints Handling
• Conflicts and Confidentiality
• Surviving the SRA Authorisation Process
• Residual Client Balances
• From Monitoring to Self-Reporting – The Roles of COLP & COFA
• Avoiding Discrimination and Promoting Diversity
• Meeting the Role of COFA in Your Firm
• Avoiding Mortgage Fraud
• Consumer Contracts and Distance Selling
• Acting for Seller and Buyer in Property Transactions
• Social Media and the Law Firm
• SRA Disciplinary Investigations
• Drafting Your Compliance Plan
• Reviewing Your Anti-Money Laundering Policy
• Financial Services Advice by Law Firms
• The Billing Process
• Potential Breaches for the COLP to Note
• SRAs New Regulatory Approach to Overseas Practice
• Getting to Grips with Your Compliance Responsibilities as COLP
(e).Monthly Compliance Bulletins.
The Hub Compliance Bulletin is sent monthly to all subscribers and deals with current issues, news and regulatory and practice management updates.
Previous issues of the Compliance Bulletin have covered a wide range of topics including:
• Practical issues to consider if you are you thinking about becoming an ABS
• Code changes for referral fees and complaints wording in client retainers
• Regulatory implications of social networking
• Acting for family members when drawing a Will
• The Referral Fees Ban and the Changes to the SRA Handbook
• Changes to the law firm structures and personnel
• Coping with the Consumer Red Tape
• SRA Risk Outlook Updated & New Obligations for Trust Practitioners
• Addressing the SRA View of Risk
• Financial Stability and the SRA Authorisation Process
• Consumer Contracts and Distance Selling – Important Changes to
Terms of Business
• Bogus Firms, Money Laundering and Misuse of Funds
The bulletin can be delivered to as many of your partners, fee-earners and staff as you wish to receive it and copies of all previous bulletins are available both in the various Compliance Hub sections and in a separate archive of bulletins.
One of the main problems that firms tell us they experience in relation to regulatory compliance is simply finding and accessing the various rules, regulations and statutory provisions to which they are subject. Often the answer to a question is out there – perhaps on the SRA web site, perhaps provided by the Law Society or on GOV.UK.
Whilst we try to encapsulate much of the information that you will need in our guides, factsheets and bulletins, often additional information can be found elsewhere to supplement those resources.
The Compliance Hub can help you to find the information you need.
Each section of the Hub contains links to various web-based resources together with snippets of information and other materials designed to make compliance as easy as is possible.
Why use us
So what are the advantages of using a Compliance Hub resource and why do clients trust us?
In a nutshell:
• We save them worry and stress.
Firms who have found themselves on the SRA’s radar will recognise the financial and reputational damage that can be caused by regulatory investigations. Compliance will therefore continue to be an ongoing cost of doing business in the profession whether that comes in the form of lost fee-earning time, recruiting compliance specialists or getting external help and support.
The Hub gives you oversight and control of all compliance and risk issues. We simply take care of the vast majority of the time-consuming work leaving you to get on with running your firm safe in the knowledge that your business is compliant.
The Hub is available to you wherever you are. Not only is our web site configured so that it is easily accessible desk-based and mobile devices but also our helpline can be accessed by phone or email.
• We save them money.
Whilst our services do render a simple monthly fee this is often much less than the fees lost by individuals within the firm who become embroiled in compliance issues often spending disproportionate amounts of time pondering, researching and worrying over simple regulatory and investigative tasks.
What is more, at no further cost you can create individual logins for everyone within your firm and you can even choose to give them full access, trainer access or simply access as a trainee.
• We save them time.
Again as specialists we can undertake your outsourced tasks quicker than you probably could save you valuable fee earning time leaving you free to generate more fees, deliver excellent service and run your business effectively
• We take the strain.
The mental burden of compliance upon an individual should never be under estimated and this can radically affect both their work and home life. By outsourcing we take the strain.
How does it work?
Centrix in conjunction with Infolegal Ltd provides a bespoke support for Law Firms compliance dependant upon your size and the scale of the issue. By making our service bespoke we can ensure we are both efficient and cost effective. So after an initial discussion we would agree terms and price dependant upon your specific need.