This is a question that many firms are grappling with and anxiously seeking guidance to address their concerns with regard to Regulation 8.2 of the SRA Authorisation Rules. In particular there is the risk that the regulator may conclude that the compliance arrangements of a law firm are not suitable following its own investigations.

Although that risk cannot be entirely avoided, I believe that it can be appropriately mitigated.
In my experience the majority of law firms would already have arrangements in place but whether they are sufficiently comprehensive and fit for purpose in the new regulatory regime is a real challenge. One way to address this challenge is by law firms benchmarking their arrangements against a compliance framework.

Whilst OFR rightly recognises the diversity of law firms which is likely to increase with ABS, it is likely that the majority of firms would share some common elements in their compliance framework irrespective of size or client profile.

So what should a comprehensive compliance framework look like for legal services providers? A compliance framework is a set of interconnected activities that taken together help a firm to create and maintain the right culture to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.

Download a generic compliance framework for law firms detailing the key activities, tailored and adapted as appropriate to reflect the diversity of firms.