Almost Half of Legal Firms Not Prepared for SRA Thematic Reviews
LONDON, UK – March 2022
A recent poll of legal practitioners and compliance officers has found that 44 per cent do not feel their firm would be prepared if the SRA were to carry out a thematic review within 24 hours.
Anti-money laundering (AML) regulations came out on top with 79 per cent. Managing risk was the second most common response with 61 per cent, while 37 per cent said ensuring policies and procedures are up to date is a concern.
Due to the impact of the pandemic on working practices within the legal sector, monitoring compliance standards while people work from home made the top five concerns, with 23 per cent indicating it is a worry.
Speaking on the results of the poll, Brian Rogers FCMI, regulatory director at Access Legal, says it is clear that some firms still don’t feel on top of their compliance obligations, which places their business, teams and clients at risk. Brian said;
“We know compliance keeps most firms up at night and it’s no easy task to stay on top of. Whereas the SRA won’t serve 24 hours’ notice to a firm before a review, the reality is if firms are on top of compliance, they should have no concerns about demonstrating it at short notice.
“It’s clear many firms are not currently in this position and it’s often time and knowledge of how to stay on top of compliance that are the biggest barriers. We know from a recent discussion that many firms want more guidance when it comes to compliance. But it’s also up to firms to ensure they are setting aside enough time to comply and develop this knowledge.”
Brian added that it is no surprise that AML continues to be the biggest concern for firms:
“AML has been at the top of the SRA’s agenda for some time. In the wake of the Ukraine crisis, new guidance has been released on AML – so for law firms, you can see why it is their number one priority.
“The good news is that the poll acknowledges that firms understand the importance of it and want to take action to ensure compliance. Firms have to make sure they are tracking, recording and updating their regulatory compliance and obligatory business standards – the right tools and systems can make this more straightforward.”
For more information about Access Legal visit here.
For further information, please contact:
+44 (0)115 958 9840
+44 (0)115 958 9840
NOTES TO EDITORS
About The Access Group
The Access Group is one of the leading providers of business management software to mid-sized UK and Asia Pacific organisations. It helps more than 60,000 customers across commercial and not-for-profit sectors become more productive and efficient. Its innovative Access Workspace cloud solutions transform the way business software is used, giving every employee the freedom to do more. Founded in 1991, The Access Group employs more than 4,800 staff. For more information about The Access Group, visit www.theaccessgroup.com
About Access Legal
Working in partnership with more than 3,500 UK law firms and underpinned by over 30 years of sector experience, Access Legal provides an unrivalled suite of complete software solutions. From case and practice management, finance, accounting and business intelligence to learning, compliance and HR, Access Legal helps firms take control of their time, improve efficiency and productivity. By providing software to manage every aspect of a firm’s operations, Access Legal enables ambitious firms to reach unlimited potential and have the freedom to focus on clients and people to drive profitability and growth. www.theaccessgroup.com/legal