Ensuring More Compliant Operations at Your Law Firm

Last year, 77% of SRA visits found firms to be partially or non compliant with regulations. Law firms are under constant and increasing pressure to modernise and adapt to an ever changing regulatory landscape.

Solving this challenge isn’t rocket science

We’ve spoken to hundreds of law firms across the market, and we’re finding the same common themes, challenges and risks are coming up time and time again – do these resonate with you?
  • Inconsistent compliance processes which vary by department and client type. 
  • Siloed information and poor auditability of client risk data firm-wide. 
  • Outdated compliance processes or a lack of compliance expertise in the firm. 
Legl’s suite of flexible risk and compliance tools can help to solve these challenges and more, as well as radically improve firms’ visibility across all compliance operations.

Problem: Inconsistent compliance processes vary by department and client type

Firms all too often find themselves in the dark, lacking meaningful insight into day-to-day processes. In this mode, it’s all too common to end up on the back foot – or in a situation of only realising something is wrong once it goes disastrously wrong. 

All law firms have to carry out CDD on new clients, but if the firm doesn’t have consistent processes in place, it’s very easy for elements of KYC to slip through the cracks. Similarly, many compliance teams do not have a simple or easy way to determine if the correct CDD steps have been carried out (or an audit trail to support their analysis).

How to fix it:

Legl gives firms a platform and tools to implement firm-wide risk and compliance processes, tailored to each department’s needs whilst delivering to key standards in bank-grade digital CDD and AML. 

Clients don’t typically want to go into law firm offices to produce their identity documents – and these manual processes slow down the entire process of client onboarding and for law firms to start matters. With a simple and secure information request link, Legl formalises and digitises onboarding – ensuring that clients know exactly what is needed from them to proceed with their matter quickly. 

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Avoiding a Toxic Compliance Culture at Your Law Firm

The SRA regularly visit law firms to monitor their compliance with AML regulations. In this session, we cover the areas that will put you ahead of the game should you receive notice that your firm will receive a visit. Watch now >

Problem: Siloed information and poor auditibility of client risk data across the firm

If your law firm is chosen for a regulatory inspection, compliance audit trails are usually one of the first things that get requested.

The SRA undertakes proactive monitoring of compliance with their anti-money-laundering regulations. In 2021, the SRA issued 21 fines specifically to firms who could not meet its requirements for reporting. The fines issued were largely dependent on the level of information that was omitted and the extent to which the respondents co-operated with the monitoring exercise and investigation.” 

With a centralised source of truth, and audit trails downloadable at the click of a button, Compliance Officers can be in complete control at all times – and respond to unexpected audit requests in moments. Not only that, but they can proactively monitor operations to resolve any potential breaches and non-compliance before they become an issue for your firm. 

How to fix it:

Forewarned is forearmed. Real-time, clean, and comprehensive audit trails form the backbone of your firm’s compliance activities. 

To benefit from round-the-clock auditibility, firms use tools like Legl to centralise all of their compliance processes firm-wide, enabling them to produce the necessary reports for an audit or inspection at the click of a button. 

Legl’s intuitive dashboard provides a complete overview of CDD checks on every client – including enhanced DD in the event of PEPs or sanctions flags. Explore features like dashboard filters to quickly navigate to the clients that have not completed the checks, and set automatic email reminders to fee earners notifying  them of clients who have yet to complete the process

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How to Prepare Your Firm for a Visit from the SRA

The SRA regularly visit law firms to monitor their compliance with AML regulations. In this session, we cover the areas that will put you ahead of the game should you receive notice that your firm will receive a visit. Watch now >

Problem: Outdated processes or a lack of compliance expertise in the firm

AML regulations may not always be at the forefront of fee earners’ minds, and often it falls to the Compliance Officers to ensure firm-wide compliance standards are met. The ongoing challenge for compliance teams is to keep up with ever changing regulations and to adhere to more robust SRA standards. 

The Compliance Office however, reminds firms that “Partners have an obligation to “ensure” compliance with SRA rules by the firm and other members of staff in the firm”. Even though staff may not always be confident or aware of their obligations, SRA guidance states that, “Any individual who is not taking their compliance duties seriously poses a risk not only in terms of their personal career and finances but also the firm and to the careers and finances of their colleagues.” 

Breaching the regulations can result in significant fines and sanctions – and the SRA won’t tolerate ignorance as an excuse for non-compliance.

How to fix it:

Complying with AML regulations needn’t be an added stress for fee earners. Implement Legl to eliminate hours of admin from fee-earning staff by digitising client management work. Think beyond AML and IDV checks – you get a rich source of funds data flow, business structure mapping, and secure electronic signatures.  

SRA guidance advocates for more digital solutions: “One of the SRA’s 2020-2023 strategic priorities is to ‘actively support the adoption of legal technology and other innovation that helps to meet the needs of the public, business community, regulated entities and the economy’, while maintaining high professional standards for solicitors and law firms”. 

Legl is at the forefront of legal technology – evidenced by the swift delivery of bank grade CDD reports for a high level of confidence, which helps empower staff to help the firm spot and manage risk.

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Where does Legl play a role in compliant operations?

Legl makes it easy and simple for law firms to meet regulatory requirements, and gives both management teams and compliance teams visibility and oversight over what is happening across the law firm.
Our award-winning technology enables law firms to harness better data insights into their businesses and clients, and to leverage that data to improve business outcomes, all whilst addressing key regulatory requirements and maintaining compliance.
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Ensure compliance throughout the client relationship

Ensure compliance throughout the client relationship