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Conduct, practice and risk management

Money laundering signs – Law Society guidance

Money laundering is a constant spectre for law firms and a regular topic, most recently in our December 2019/January 2020 edition (p2). With the official guidance on 5MLD some months away, the Law Society’s updated practice note is timely (‘Money laundering warning signs’ 20/01/2020). Many of the points made in the practice note look familiar – but firms must ensure that this does not breed contempt.
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Complaints – new guidance

The Law Society has issued a new practice note (‘Handling Complaints’ 02/01/2020) which may assist practitioners to recognise and mitigate the ever-present problem of client complaints.
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Money laundering – SRA review

Money laundering is an ever-present risk for lawyers. We reported in our April 2019 edition (p32) on the SRA’s intention to carry out checks on 400 firms to ensure that they are meeting their AML obligations. The SRA has now released the results of that exercise – which do not make good reading.
 
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SRA – ‘honesty’ and ‘integrity’

As solicitors will be aware, the SRA is introducing the new standards and regulations on 25 November 2019. In addition to new, separate codes of conduct for firms and solicitors, the SRA has reduced the principles from ten to seven. The SRA describes these as ‘the fundamental tenets of ethical behaviour that we expect all those that we regulate to uphold’. 
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Freelance solicitors – beware pitfalls

Solicitors are no doubt aware that the SRA is introducing the new standards and regulations from 25 November 2019, which include separate codes of conduct for solicitors and firms. A controversial aspect of the new regime will allow solicitors to do non-reserved work for unauthorised businesses or as a freelancer (subject to some restrictions). The SRA takes the view that more liberal practising rules will enable the public to access legal services more easily. The choices available to solicitors include working as:
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Client care letters - SRA guidance

The new codes of conduct for solicitors and firms come into force on 25 November 2019. The SRA is releasing guidance on various aspects of the new standards and regulations and has recently made comments about client care letters.

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Money laundering – mitigation of risk

Each month we consider conduct and practice issues relevant to busy practitioners. This month we will consider the ever-present issue of money laundering.
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Cybercrime – risks

Each month we consider conduct and practice issues relevant to busy practitioners. This month we will consider the ever-present risk of cybercrime. While a threat to all practice areas, it represents a significant risk to those carrying out conveyancing work due to the pressure of work and the sums of money going through client accounts.
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Conveyancing – conflicts

Each month we consider conduct and practice issues relevant to busy practitioners. This month we will consider some of the less obvious conflicts which might arise in a conveyancing matter.

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Most-read articles

Capacity – wills; disclosure
Monday, 09 March 2020
The Society’s guidance, Access and disclosure of an incapacitated person’s will, gives important clarification around the circumstances in which a solicitor can disclose a copy of a client’s... Read more...
Source of funds – Law Society guidance
Monday, 09 March 2020
We mentioned above the new Law Society practice note on signs of money laundering. A constant refrain for conveyancers – but one which should be heard more widely – is the importance for firms of... Read more...
MIB injury on private land – update
Monday, 09 March 2020
We reported in our July/August 2019 edition (p31) on the case in which the CA held that MIB was liable to pay compensation to someone injured in a car accident on private land. The injured party was... Read more...
Provisional damages – underused?
Monday, 09 March 2020
An interesting article reminds PI practitioners of the underused solution of provisional damages, which are provided for in s32A of the Senior Courts Act 1981. In PI and clinical negligence cases,... Read more...
Tate peeping – CA decision
Monday, 09 March 2020
We reported in our March 2019 edition (p24) on the case brought by the owners of luxury flats adjacent to the Tate Gallery. They applied for an injunction to prevent members of the public from... Read more...
RICS – code for leasing business premises
Monday, 09 March 2020
The RICS has launched the first edition of its Code for Leasing Business Premises which comes into force on 1 September 2020. It will replace the voluntary Code for Leasing Business Premises in... Read more...
Boundary disputes – the essentials
Monday, 09 March 2020
Boundary disputes can mean different things to different practitioners – conveyancers will hate them and seek to avoid at all costs; property litigators will no doubt take a different view! An... Read more...
Procedure – coronavirus
Monday, 09 March 2020
The author raises an urgent issue for family lawyers: how should they take the coronavirus into account in the work they undertake for their clients, particularly international clients or those with... Read more...
Parental bereavement – in force?
Monday, 09 March 2020
The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 should come into force in April 2020. Regulations as to the detailed operation of the Act are awaited but the government’s consultation response... Read more...
Sentencing – judge’s remarks
Monday, 09 March 2020
The appellants were convicted of a money laundering offence under s328 POCA following a sophisticated, multimillion-pound, cross-border money laundering operation. S was sentenced to eight years in... Read more...

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