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1 May 2012
The Law Society is to roll-out its new 'safe-harbour' compliance initiative to the whole profession, providing advice to COLPs and COFAs via its Risk and Compliance Service.
The move follows the Society's launch earlier this month of the Compliance Reference Group (CRG) pilot to enable Compliance Officers of Legal Practice (COLPs) from the top 100 firms to submit enquiries to the Law Society on regulatory issues. Plans to extend that scheme to Compliance Officers for Finance and Administration (COFAs) are well advanced.
Now the Society is offering the service to all firms via the Risk and Compliance Service. In both initiatives, if an individual or firm follows advice from the CRG or Risk & Compliance Service and subsequently finds that action is being considered or taken against them by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, the Law Society will stand by that individual or firm.
Law Society chief executive Desmond Hudson said:“The expertise of our practitioners in our Risk and Compliance Service should be made use of by all the profession. There is clearly a demand for it. Both schemes harness the 'wisdom of the profession' to equip individuals with advice and support to help compliance.
“The compliance community who are members of the Risk and Compliance Service will be able to benefit from the same level of support that the top 100 firms within the Compliance Reference Group receive. This new initiative enables that to happen.”
Risk and Compliance Service members who are COLPs or COFAs will be able to submit queries to the Service, which will then be considered by Law Society regulatory compliance experts, together with a panel made up of practitioners. The Society says that measures are in place to ensure consistency between the advice given by both the CRG and the new Risk & Compliance Service initiative.
This latest service is in addition to a range of guidance and support to members on outcomes focused regulation and wider compliance issues including practice notes, online training, diagnostic visits and more.
The new service is due to go live on May 8 2012.