Welcome to Legal Eye
April 22nd, 2018

Legal Eye Strengthens Team With New Appointment

Continuing to expand their team, Legal Eye are pleased to announce the appointment of their newest member. Joining in the role of Senior Compliance Manager, Kate Burt is set to bring an extensive range of industry experience to the role. After qualifying as a Solicitor in 2007, Kate spent over a decade in private practice, working within a number of Legal 500 firms before finding her niche in compliance work. Having worked in a range of legal environments, Kate has built an...

Legal Eye Expertise Enhanced By New GDPR Consultant

Legal Eye are pleased to introduce specialist GDPR consultant Marcus Allen. With his specialisms including the General Data Protection Regulation and ISO27001, Marcus further strengthens Legal Eye’s outsourced compliance offering, with his expertise being a key addition to the team’s growing wealth of knowledge and skills. After obtaining a master’s degree in management learning and change from a leading research university, Marcus went on to develop his awareness of risk and...

Good news for the first-time buyers but headaches for Property Lawyers?

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond’s first Autumn Budget saw the headlines captured by his stamp duty exemption for first-time buyers. Whilst this is great news for anyone thinking of buying a first-time property up to a value of £500K (the first £300K being exempt and the next £200K changed at 5%), it is yet a further change to the already complex and ever evolving Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) code. Since its introduction in the Finance Act 2003, SDLT has gone through numerous overhauls,...

News in Brief:

Since our Autumn edition of Legal Compliance Matters, just a few key things that you should be aware of: Changes in Legislation re charging for card payments New rules which will come into effect on 13 January 2018 will mean consumers cannot be penalised for choosing to pay by card, either online or in person. Under the current rules companies should only charge what it costs to process a debit or credit card payment - they shouldn't make a profit on these surcharges. But consumers do...

Hurtling through a Hedge Backwards at Speed …

… is how one of the speakers at the annual Anti-Money Laundering and Financial Crime Conference 2017 last week described the introduction of the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 – better known now as the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 or MLR 2017. I smiled as he said that and so did many of the delegates sitting in the room since the analogy so accurately describes that Thursday at the end of June when the...

SRA COLP/COFA Conference – 2017

Financial Eye attended the 5th Annual COLP/COFA conference in Birmingham last month. The event was well attended as usual with over 1,000 delegates hoping to learn more about what risks firms could anticipate during 2018 and what the SRA was doing to assist firms meet these challenges. SRA Chief Executive, Paul Phillip outlined a 3-year plan that has now been approved by the Board of the regulator. The SRA engaged with some 6,000 firms over the past 9 months to help them develop a regulatory...

Looking to the Future Consultations

For some time now, the SRA have been, as part of a wider “Looking to the Future” exercise, consulting on proposed changes and commissioning research with a view to consulting on and implementing these changes. At the end of September, the SRA published two further consultations, namely: • Looking to the Future – Phase 2 of the Handbook Reforms; and • Looking to the Future – better information, more choice. Both consultations are running in parallel and as well as the...

Legal Eye joins industry roundtable for exclusive Law Commission Q&A

This month, our Managing Director, Paul Saunders was pleased to attend the latest Today's Thought Focus Roundtable, hosted by national industry news publication, Today's Wills & Probate. Not only was he among a small group of other experts within the profession, Paul was also joined by the Law Commission and given exclusive opportunity to discuss the latest wills consultation. This pivotal Law Commission consultation was launched in July 2017 and closed on 10th November. Its aim was to seek...

Risk Outlook 2017/2018

The Risk Outlook for 2017/2018 came out at the end of July this year with the following key priority risks: Lack of access to legal services; Standards of service; Investment schemes; Information security; Protecting client money; Money laundering; Independence and integrity; Diversity in the profession. I think the majority of lawyers would have been able to predict most of the key priority risks this year since many of them impact daily in practice. Let’s have a look at...

How effectively is your firm managing risk?

Protection of client money is paramount. Highlighted as a priority risk in the SRA’s Risk Outlook, protecting funds that a client entrusts to your firm is vital if you are to maintain a professional standard. Not to mention, the consequences of not doing so can be severe. Whilst the awareness of risk is growing, so are the cases of firms being targeted. Adoption of a preventative tool such as Lawyer Checker is vital to ensure that the risk is mitigated effectively and client funds are...

Everyone is talking about GDPR!

Everyone is talking about GDPR – and lawyers are no exception! Go onto Linked In and there are several posts each day asking whether you are GDPR ready and the ICO is regularly blogging about GDPR and rightly reporting on fines for data breaches. There are articles aplenty about GDPR, saying things like: GDPR will apply in the UK from 25th May 2018. There are increased fines for data breaches. The Regulations impose liability for data breaches on data processors; Data breaches must be...

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition

Whilst it is probably unfair to compare the SRA’s Investigations team with the Spanish Inquisition... The SRA have noticeably increased their interaction with regulated firms over the last 12 months. Many firms are finding themselves on the radar of the regulator without a clear understanding of what has generated the interest. In many cases it is because of a simple complaint about service but sometimes it can be the result of a more serious issue. Whatever the reason, it is often...

Legal Eye backs new conveyancer customer service awards!

Legal Eye are supporting the new customer service awards for the conveyancing sector launched by The ESTAS Group. The ESTAS Group already runs the largest national customer feedback scheme and awards for estate agents which is now in its 14th year. The awards are unique in the industry, rating firms based on data received from an online survey submitted by customers who have experienced a complete service from the firm in question. The feedback and award scheme is already backed by the...

Are you ready for the Criminal Finances Act 2017

The Criminal Finances Act 2017 (CFA) which received Royal Assent on 27th April 2017 was the UK Government’s response to the “Panama Papers” scandal – an unprecedented leak of 11.5 million files from the database of the world’s fourth biggest offshore law firm – and part 3 of the CFA bring about two new offences of failure to prevent facilitation of tax evasion in the UK and abroad. For the UK offence, under Section 45, there must be: Criminal evasion of UK tax; Criminal...

Cyber Attack

The news late yesterday of another global cyber-attack reportedly affected DLA Piper as well a multitude of other organisations globally, coming just over a month after the major attack which affecting the NHS, has sent shock waves through the legal community. Many firms are taking their cyber-security seriously but others are still viewing cyber-security solely as an IT issue. Cyber security is a business risk. It requires engagement and ownership at Senior Management or Board level. It...

Today’s Conveyancer is hitting the road and inviting you to come along

Next month, Today’s Conveyancer will be hosting a national roadshow, stopping off in London, Birmingham and Liverpool. In each of these major cities, we’ll be holding conferences covering key subjects and highlighting important updates, including new anti-money laundering legislation, technology within conveyancing and cybercrime. With in-depth talks from industry experts and the chance to engage with other legal professionals, the roadshow is set to be a key event in the conveyancing...

Legal Eye recruits Priscilla Sinder in line with expansion plans

Legal Eye, the legal compliance specialists, have recruited Priscilla Sinder as Compliance Consultant. Priscilla, who has been a property Solicitor for 12 years, and was previously a Director at DC Law, will join the 15-strong team. Priscilla is a trained mediator, lexcel consultant and brings experience with working with CLC, SRA and ABS firms. Commenting on her new role with Legal Eye Priscilla says “I have followed Legal Eye’s growth with interest. I admire the high standard of...

30 Days to Better Compliance

In April, we shared “a tip a day” to assist firms to get ahead with risk and compliance. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on compliance – the goal posts move. Take this month – the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 are set to be enacted into UK law to ensure that the UK complies with the fourth money laundering directive! We haven’t listed all 30 tips – just the ones that you can easily action yourselves and which will assist you in taking a step closer to compliance. ...

Effective Complaints Handling

In 2015/2016, the Legal Ombudsman reported 7,035 complaints made and 6,399 complaints resolved. Complaints to the Legal Ombudsman do show a steady decline in numbers but in the last full year there were still 1,394 complaints about residential conveyancing matters, 867 complaints about family cases, 824 regarding Wills & Probate matters and 1,865 relating to “other” matters. The most common causes of complaints change little year on year and are: • Failure to advise...

Cyber Security – a business risk

What does this mean for Legal Firms? Many businesses are still viewing cyber-security solely as an IT issue. It is not. Cyber security is a business risk and requires engagement and ownership at Senior Management or Board level and must be embedded as part of a firm’s culture. Senior Managers within organisations must ensure that they have taken all steps possible to mitigate the risk of a cyber-attack. This includes, but is not limited to, having robust firewalls and internet gateways...

We didn’t need to wait for our pension, we had an exit plan

At Financial Eye, one of the key areas that we help law firms with is business planning and we are always delighted when we help these plans through to the desired conclusion. We were contacted by Bryan & Mercer in 2013 to see if we could help them tackle a set of business challenges they were setting themselves. They are an established and successful high street practice in St Albans and had always taken their regulatory obligations very seriously, having worked with our sister company,...

GDPR and the Legal Sector: Practical Steps to Compliance

At the moment, everywhere I turn I am met with yet another article scaremongering about the latest General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). I've heard stories of fines for non-compliance of anything between 4% and a whopping 10% of global turnover, as well as rumours that Brexit will provide some sort of respite from the new regulations. As a managed IT provider operating within the legal sector, regulatory changes such as GDPR impact Nasstar’s client base heavily. As a result, we have put...

What’s new in legislation since the Spring Edition of our Newsletter

Money Laundering Regulations 2017 With less than 3 weeks until the scheduled commencement date of the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 and the Regulations remain in draft and the overarching guidance has not been released. There are many changes in the draft Regulations that firms will need to implement including, for example: • Firm-specific risk assessments under Regulation 18; • Firms will be required to establish and maintain policies, controls and procedures, approved by...

Reduce the risk of cyber-crime

In the last few days, another report has surfaced of client money being lost as a result of the proceeds of sale being sent to the wrong bank account. In what is now a well-known scam, the firm received an email purporting to be from their client advising of a change of bank details. The firm didn’t, as has happened in the past, take this at face value but their request for a call to validate the information was intercepted by the fraudsters who telephoned the firm, again purporting to be...

NHS Cyber attack

You will now be aware of a news story detailing a widespread ransomware cyber-attack which has affected the NHS and a multitude of other organisations globally. This is yet another sombre reminder that anyone is a target and no one person or organisation is immune to an attack. If you have not done so already, you should immediately remind all staff to be extra vigilant with emails received from unknown sources and make sure that they do not open any attachments or open any links if they are...

Remote Working – an opportunity to differentiate yourselves from your competitors?

Various studies have been commissioned and reports published, the most recent at the beginning of March, raising concerns over a lack of clear information about the services provided by law firms and details of costs to enable consumers to make an informed choice about legal service providers. In response to the research, regulators are working on increasing the availability of data to consumers and conducting further research into costs transparency and first tier complaints. Firms are being...

News in Brief:

FSCS Limit The Financial Services Compensation Scheme limit increased, with effect from the 30th January 2017, to £85,000 per individual (previously £75,000) or £170,000 for joint accounts. Check your Terms of Business have the correct figure. GDPR The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) have confirmed they have now completed their first piece of detailed topic-specific GDPR guidance around consent and are asking for feedback via a short consultation with a closing date of 31st...

Life after Mischon de Reya (MDR)

The “Mischon de Reya” case (MDR) as it is often referred to is, at the time of writing, just the latest in a number of cases of a purchaser being duped into buying a property from an individual posing as the owner. Identity fraud is now right up there with cybercrime in terms of the key and emerging risk that law firms face today and whilst the decision in the case is under Appeal it simply isn’t an option for firms to await the outcome of the Appeal before deciding whether their...

Experiences of Consumers who may be Vulnerable in Family Law – March 2017

In June 2016, the SRA commissioned research to provide insight into the expectations and experiences of clients that may be vulnerable in family law, focussing on access, cost and quality of service as well as the competence, behaviours and practices of solicitors in legal firms offering family law to vulnerable clients. The research was carried out between August and September 2016 and consisted of desk based research (ie literature search including the SRA’s report on Vulnerable...

Cybercrime and Law Firms

Hardly a week goes by, without yet another report of an attempt by hackers to divert client funds by corresponding by email with a conveyancing client, building up a rapport whilst purporting to be an employee of the client’s solicitor’s firm and then sending an email which sought to amend the bank details to which the client’s funds, in readiness for exchange, should be sent. It is suggested that the statistics reported are just the tip of the iceberg and far from a true reflection of...

Understanding the role of the COFA – personal liability

A compliance officer who ‘fundamentally misunderstood his obligations’ was fined £7,500 and ordered to pay costs of £2,250 by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and banned from being a COLP or COFA, after being in post for just one year. Steven David Hulme was employed as assistant solicitor with Lancashire practice Orbis Solicitors, which was closed down by the Solicitors Regulation Authority in April 2016 following suspicion that the firm’s founder and director, solicitor Anne...

Important Announcement for all Conveyancing Sole Practitioners

HSBC have announced that, with effect from today, sole practitioners with CQS accreditation can now act for both a customer and the bank on properties up to £350,000 – an increase from the previous £150,000. This is welcome news for clients and practitioners alike. Questions: Are you a sole practitioner? Would you like to attain CQS accreditation but don’t have the time to completethe CQS application form and accompanying documents? If the answer to both of the above questions is...

Conveyancing Association announce Legal Eye as latest Affiliate members

The Conveyancing Association (CA), the leading trade body for the conveyancing industry, has today (17th January 2017) announced Legal Eye as its latest Affiliate members. Legal Eye, a subsidiary of ULS technology, providing tailored compliance and risk solutions for solicitors and licensed conveyancers, has worked with the CA for a number of years, undertaking the desktop compliance reviews required of prospective member firms of the Association. As Affiliate members, Legal Eye is...

Legal Eye awards first Quality Standard to CILEx regulated professional

Legal Eye, a subsidiary of ULS Technology is delighted to announce that East Devon Law, the practice of Chartered Legal Executive Ian Hunt, is the first CILEx regulated lawyer to achieve the Legal Eye Quality Standard (LEQS). The Legal Eye Quality Standard is the only assessment scheme which spans the three legal regulators i.e. the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA), Council of Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) and Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx). Ian Hunt has over 24...

Legal Eye announces free Seminar in March on Emerging Risks for Law Firms

We would like to invite Solicitors and Conveyancers to attend our free seminar which is being held at the iconic Library of Birmingham. Our speakers who include representatives from the SRA and Law Society will bring you up to date on the risks law firms are currently facing, and practical low cost solutions to protect your firm. Cyber crime will be a key topic in our morning seminar which will be of particular interest to Senior Partners, Directors, COLPs and...

Understanding the role of the COFA – personal liability

A compliance officer who ‘fundamentally misunderstood his obligations’ was fined £7,500 and ordered to pay costs of £2,250 by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and banned from being a COLP or COFA, after being in post for just one year. Steven David Hulme was employed as assistant solicitor with Lancashire practice Orbis Solicitors, which was closed down by the Solicitors Regulation Authority in April 2016 following suspicion that the firm’s founder and director, solicitor Anne...

All good things come to an end….

Legal Eye have been offering a free legal compliance health check to law firms for 7 years now - in fact we have notched up 500 to date! The check consists of a Legal Eye compliance expert reviewing a firm’s Client Care letter and Terms of Business, as well as a check of a firm's website, email footer and letterhead, to ensure they meet the requirements of the regulator. Of the checks carried out in 2016, 87% were found to have some form of error or omission. From 1st February, 2017...

James Morgan Solicitors win Legal Eye prize!!!

Congratulations to James Morgan Solicitors who have won a One Day Legal Compliance review from Legal Eye Limited in the Conscious Solutions advent calendar prize draw.

Are you complying with the SRA/CLC/CILEx Code of Conduct?

For many busy conveyancers, it can be a constant juggling act staying on top of your caseload, keeping your clients happy and ensuring compliance with the obligations of your regulators Code of Conduct. From your professional performance and due diligence procedures to maintaining a suitable training programme for your firm’s employees, it is essential that you have workable measures in place to optimise best practice and remain compliant with the ever-changing regulatory...
xara

Xara Computers, has achieved the Legal Eye Quality Standard (LEQS)

Legal Eye, a subsidiary of ULS Technology, is very pleased to announce that London IT services provider Xara Computers, has achieved the Legal Eye Quality Standard (LEQS). The Legal Eye Quality Standard is recognised to be the first assessment scheme to address the rules and regulations which are over and above the traditional quality standards. Muz Kapasi, co-owner of Xara Computers, comments:- "Xara Computers are delighted to have achieved the Legal Eye Quality Standard. It is a...

PSG announce their partnership with global ID specialists GBG

Streamlined AML Compliance and Bank Account Verification in one place as PSG announce their partnership with global ID specialists GBG https://www.psgconnect.co.uk/news/streamlined-aml-solutions/

Moneypenny appoints Joanna Swash as managing director

AFTER 11 years heading up business development and marketing for Moneypenny, Joanna Swash has been appointed as managing director. Having played a pivotal role in the firm’s rapid and consistent growth within the legal sector, Joanna joined the UK’s leading telephone answering and outsourced switchboard specialist in 2005 as sales manager before later becoming commercial director. Joanna commented: “It’s a privilege to be taking up the mantle of managing director at such a key...

Rhonda Treacy-Hales is promoted to Director of Business Development

Legal Eye, a subsidiary of the ULS Technology is delighted to announce the promotion of Rhonda Treacy-Hales to Director of Business Development with effect from 1st November. Commenting on the new appointment, incoming Managing Director Paul Saunders said: "Legal Eye has a clear growth strategy and the appointment of a Director of Business Development is crucial to fulfilling our ambitions. I look forward to working with Rhonda and the rest of the team to achieve our aims over the...

Moneypenny

Moneypenny releases information on call trends for law firms. Link here

Gordon Brown achieves prestigious quality standard

Gordon Brown achieves prestigious quality standard Gordon Brown Solicitors, who already hold a number of accreditations including Lexcel and CQS, have achieved another in the form of the Legal Eye Quality Standard. The Legal Eye Quality Standard, accredited by Legal Eye a subsidiary of ULS Technology is recognised to be the only assessment scheme to address the rules and regulations which are over and above the traditional quality standards. The multi-disciplined firm who have 2...

Moneypenny opens the doors to pioneering workspace for world-class legal receptionists

MONEYPENNY, the legal sector's leading outsourced switchboard and telephone answering specialist, is today unveiling its new £15m headquarters. Designed to create “the happiest workplace in the UK”, the pioneering building reflects the company’s rapid growth and has been built based on the feedback of its 500 employees – many of whom represent the country’s leading law firms and legal practices. Ed Reeves, co-founder and director of Moneypenny, masterminded the pioneering...

Are you aware of the impact of the INSURANCE ACT 2015

You may not have picked up on it, but the recent change to The Insurance Act 2015 is the most significant update to commercial insurance law in the last 100 years, overhauling principles originally laid down by the Marine Insurance Act 1906. The consequences are far-reaching and mean that it is not just your Regulator that is interested in ensuring you have adequate risk management in place. Whilst Insurers tell us the intention of the new Act is to create a more balanced relationship...

Nottingham based law firm adds to their Accreditation collection

- 17 August 2016 Legal Eye, a subsidiary of ULS Technology is delighted to announce that Campions Solicitors are the first law firm in Nottingham to achieve the Legal Eye Quality Standard (LEQS).Rhonda Treacy-Hales, Head of Business Development at Legal Eye says “I have been working with the team at Campions for 3 years and they are an absolute delight to work with. They grasped early on that compliance is very positive for their business and have developed a strong culture throughout...

Legal Eye unveils new Senior Management team

- 12 August 2016 Legal Eye, a subsidiary of ULS Technology is delighted to announce the external appointment of Paul Saunders as Managing Director together with two internal promotions.

ThinkMarble Cyber Security Audit

  • A review of your IT infrastructure
  • Feedback on key areas where your systems are most vulnerable
  • Recommended next steps for securing your business against the growing threat of cyber crime
You can claim your free cyber security audit at the following link: Free Cyber Security Assessment Business

A phased review of the SRA Handbook and regulatory approach – Principles, Code of Conduct and Practice Framework Rules.

You will have to demonstrate compliance with all the SRA’s regulatory arrangements, as well as with other regulatory and legislative requirements, which apply to you. In order to do this, it is important that you can show a real understanding of the regulations and how they apply to you and have them documented.
David Thorpe, Director, Financial Eye, 20 June 2016

Total Conveyancing Services (TCS) achieves Legal Eye Quality Standard

- 20th June 2016 Legal Eye, a subsidiary of the ULS Group, is delighted to announce that North West legal firm Total Conveyancing Services has achieved the Legal Eye Quality Standard (LEQS).

‘Lost’ Wills – where Certainty Will Search prevented incorrect distribution

- 14nd June 2016 Thousands of solicitors use Will search in Estate Administration work. Are you one of them?Study 1 Circumstances: High street bank advised client to distribute as intestate estate Action: Client decides to check by using Certainty Will Search Result: Wills found, one dated 2004 held by a law firm, the second dated 2008 at a Certainty member firm Study 2 Circumstances: Solicitor’s client knew their mother had a Will. Location unknown. Action: Solicitor...

Embracing Digital Marketing

- 2nd June 2016 By David Kempster – Consultant, Legal EyeDavid Kempster is a consultant with Legal Eye. He is a seasoned legal services marketing professional and works with law firms to devise and implement strategies and communications for market growth. Legal Eye offers a comprehensive range of law firm marketing services. For more information visit www.legal-eye.co.uk/services/marketing/ or call 023 051...

Are You Meeting the Needs of Vulnerable Clients?

- 01st June 2016 In March 2016, the SRA published their Spring Update to the 2015/2016 Risk Outlook which highlighted a failure to provide a proper standard of service particularly for vulnerable clients as one of the priority risks facing the profession. advanced age, children and young people physical disabilities or ill health loss of mental capacity to make relevant decisions mental health problems learning disabilities dementia difficulty in accessing and/or...

Cyber Security webinar

- 9th May 2016 Abstract: The webinar will discuss the new and emerging cyber security threats for law firms operating in a digital age. ThinkMarble, a leading cyber security practice in the South East, is paving the way for law firms to improve their defences, helping them to protect their company - and its reputation - against the rapidly increasing threat of cyber-attacks. Read More This webinar will discuss the new and emerging cyber security threats for law firms operating in a...

Legal Eye Expands it’s Compliance Team

- 14th April 2016 Legal Eye, a subsidiary of the ULS Group, is expanding it’s compliance team after the company hit £1m turnover for the financial year for the first time.Legal Eye, a subsidiary of ULS, is expanding and looking for highly motivated individuals to join it’s established UK compliance team. The role will consist of providing compliance and other risk management and consultancy services to law firms. Key duties include (but are not limited to) the list below. The role is...

CYBERSECURITY CHALLENGES

- 11th April 2016 Target. Adobe. AOL. eBay. What do these companies all have in common? These are all large companies that have been the victims of big security attacks over the last year. Over 145 million records were compromised in the case of online auction site eBay and Target dealt with more than 70 million breaches of their customer base. Unfortunately, all too often, organisations react to this type of event rather than proactively protect against it. Although some may argue, it’s...

Legal Eye Congratulates Rowlinsons on achieving the Legal Eye Quality Standard

- 5 April 2016 Legal Eye, a subsidiary of the ULS Group, is delighted to announce that North West law firm Rowlinsons have achieved the Legal Eye Quality Standard (LEQS) Multi-disciplined firm Rowlinsons, whose range of services include conveyancing and wills and probate, are the latest company to join an elite band of law firms and legal suppliers to achieve the much sought after accreditation. Jaunita Gobby, Managing Director of Legal Eye comments “Rowlinsons thoroughly deserve...

Report reveals calls to wills and probate sector surge by 53%

- 18th March 2016 CALLS to the wills and probate sector rose by 53% in the first two months of the year, according to Moneypenny. In a like-for-like study of its wills and probate calls, the UK’s leading telephone answering specialist reported a 53% rise when the average number of calls in January and February were compared to the total number of calls in December 2015. Bernadette Bennett, Legal Commercial Manager at Moneypenny, said: "We typically see a rise in enquiries to the...

Cybercrime- Do you have adequate systems to protect your Firm?

Cybercrime is posing an ever-increasing challenge for law firms, the Regulators, Professional Indemnity Providers and last but certainly not least, our clients. As we operate within an ever-changing regulatory sphere, our Regulators require us to be able to demonstrate what adequate security measures we have in place to mitigate risk against cyber-attacks that may be levied against our law firm. Cyber Crime has been identified as a key risk in the SRA Key Risk Outlook 2015/2016 and...

Motorplus drives forward technology improvements with Converge TS

  Leading claims management and insurance wholesaler specialist Motorplus has become the latest new customer of Converge Technology Specialists (Converge TS), the country’s only dedicated Cloud computing provider for law firms. Converge TS will be providing Motorplus with a fully managed hosted (cloud) desktop service, installing a fully managed data network and rolling out the LexisNexis Visualfiles case management system across Motorplus’s Norwich-based operation. The move...

Is your documentation up to date?

Is your documentation up to date? It is important that we regularly review our documentation such as our Client Care letters, Terms of business, websites etc., to ensure that we are keeping on top of all the regulatory changes. Last year one of the prominent changes was the application by the Legal Ombudsman to become an approved consumer Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) for the purposes of the EU Directive.   The purpose of the Directive is to ensure that all consumers in the EU...

Moneypenny reports calls to legal sector are up 14.2%

- 10th February 2016 CALLS to the legal sector rose by 14.2% last month, according to Moneypenny. In a study of its call volume, the UK’s leading telephone answering specialist reported a 14.2% rise when the average number of calls in January were compared to the average number of calls in December. Of those, enquiries relating to personal injury accounted for the largest share, followed by family law, residential property, criminal law and wills and probate. Bernadette Bennett,...

Help to buy ISA Scheme

The Help to Buy ISA Scheme was launched on 1 December 2015 and conveyancers can register for the scheme from January 2016 with the on-line Help to Buy portal (through which bonus applications are made) available from 31 March 2016.  Eligible Conveyancers will be required to sign a Conveyancer Adherence Agreement – a copy of which is annexed at Schedule 8 to the HM Treasury Help To Buy ISA Scheme Rules – see...

Regulation of Consumer Credit Activities – SRA Toolkit

During December, the SRA announced that their new model for consumer credit regulation had passed the final hurdle.  This means that, with effect from 1st April 2016, the majority of firms that carry on consumer credit work that is an integral part of the legal services they provide (ie credit broking, debt adjusting, debt counselling etc) will only have to be regulated by one regulator – the SRA – and the not the FCA also. However, some firms will have to be dual-regulated (ie by the...

Help to buy ISA Scheme

The Help to Buy ISA Scheme was launched on 1 December 2015 and conveyancers can register for the scheme from January 2016 with the on-line Help to Buy portal (through which bonus applications are made) available from 31 March 2016. Eligible Conveyancers will be required to sign a Conveyancer Adherence Agreement – a copy of which is annexed at Schedule 8 to the HM Treasury Help To Buy ISA Scheme Rules – see...

`Divorce Day’ – calls to family lawyers double

IT seems thousands of couples across the country found the Christmas and New Year break a struggle, according to `Divorce Day’ figures released by telephone answering specialist Moneypenny. The company’s legal receptionists saw family law calls double – rising by 106% on Monday, January 4 – in a like-for-like comparison to the average for the three previous Mondays before Christmas in December. In addition, Moneypenny found that calls on `Divorce Day’ were up by 62% when...

Legal firms urged to prepare for rise of up to 26% in calls

Are you ready for the Christmas break? Legal firms urged to prepare for rise of up to 26% in calls LAW firms across the UK are being urged to prepare for the Christmas break as Moneypenny’s latest report reveals how calls to the legal sector typically see a dramatic rise. Moneypenny – the UK’s leading telephone answering and outsourced switchboard specialist – looked at call volume figures for the past two years, analysing trends immediately before and after Christmas. Its...
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