Welcome to Legal Eye
August 21st, 2017

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...

Training Eye welcomes new Product Manager

Training Eye is proud to announce and welcome David Hobson as their new Product Manager. Following Training Eye’s successful launch in May this year, it has gone from strength to strength with an easy-to-use training compliance solution designed to protect firms and grow productivity. “The priority now is to continue to forge great relationships while serving those we have,” says Gavin Gobby, Managing Director of Training Eye. “The excellent feedback we receive from our clients...

Financial Eye View on the SRA COFA Conference

SRA COFA Conference 14th October 2015 The Team from Financial Eye attended the SRA COLP/COFA Conference on 14th October 2015 and we are pleased to bring you some of the highlights from the day. There were approximately 800 attendees and a wide variety of subjects were covered, both in the main conference hall and in workshops. We hope that you find the following to be of interest, especially the section on cybercrime which is becoming more and more of a threat. If you have any comments...

Taking Names

Identity theft – especially the creation by cybercriminals of bogus firms – is one the biggest risks facing law firms today. But there are some simple steps you can take to mitigate the risk. Rhonda Treacy-Hales explains This article was first published in the November 2015 edition of Managing for Success, the magazine of the Law Society's Law Management Section www.lawsociety.org.uk/lawmanagement It is hard to imagine life without the internet, email and social media. These...

Changing Regulators

Over the past year we have seen an increased number of firms considering changing their regulator, from the Solicitors Regulation Authority to the Council of Licenced Conveyancers. The key drivers for change appear to be: - Conveyancing specific regulation - Competitive PII renewal premiums - Moving away from CQS and annual re-accreditation - Commercial viability relating to commissions/referrals from third parties provided they are fully disclosed to clients - Business Planning The...

O’Neill Patient achieves Legal Eye Quality Standard

Leading law firm O’Neill Patient has achieved the Legal Eye Quality Standard shortly after being awarded ISO27001. The Legal Eye Quality Standard is widely recognised by law firms, and suppliers such as lenders as the leading assessment scheme for best practice, risk management and compliance in the legal sector. Sue Brown, Managing Partner at O’Neill Patient says “Compliance is at the heart of everything we do which is just one of the reasons why we have been working with Legal Eye...

Moneypenny helps to celebrate brilliance

TELEPHONE answering specialist Moneypenny joined forces with the Law Society to celebrate the best examples of innovation and good practice across the legal profession at a glittering event in London’s Hilton Hotel on Park Lane. As a sponsor of the 2015 Law Society Excellence Awards, Moneypenny joined more than 600 representatives of law firms from England and Wales to recognise success in 16 award categories. Bernadette Bennett, Moneypenny’s Legal Commercial Manager, presented the...

Latest quarterly review shows highest ever number of legal calls

TELEPHONE answering specialist Moneypenny has handled more calls for law firms in one day than ever before. The company, which looks after telephone calls, either on an overflow or fully outsourced basis, for over 900 law firms of all shapes and sizes, has conducted its third quarterly review of 2015, taking a look at legal calls handled between July 1 and September 30. Call data for the period shows that the latest three months have been record-breaking in more ways than one. On Monday,...

Moneypenny celebrates as time flies

TELEPHONE answering specialist Moneypenny is celebrating three years of handling `night-time’ calls, the majority legal, from the other side of the world. In 2012, the company took the unusual decision to open an office in New Zealand to meet the increasing demand at the time for a 24/7 telephone answering service – driven by the needs of the legal sector. Moneypenny Receptionists fly 13,000 miles to follow the sun, answering overnight calls, bright and breezy during daytime hours in...

Sales versus marketing – what is the difference?

Sales and marketing, are the same or different?  Most people I meet think they are the same? But are they? Both disciplines are focused on generating income for your business, they are both vital principals that your business must have to turn a prospect into a sale, so are they the same? Marketing is everything you do to get leads or prospects to your business. Sales is what you do to turn those leads or prospect into profit. You can’t do one without the other but without one or...

New figures show conveyancing calls spike in school holidays

LATEST data from telephone answering specialist Moneypenny has revealed a drop in conveyancing calls in the first full week back to the normal routine following a call spike during the school holidays. Conveyancing calls handled by Moneypenny’s legal receptionists were up on average by 16.21% during the six week period from July 20 to August 28, as compared to the week commencing September 7, which saw families up and down the country return to the school run and business as usual. The...

How many law firms are failing to manage occupational road risk?

Managing occupational road risk – the risk of asking staff to drive on business – is moving up the critical list of many SMEs, especially those with sign written vehicles whose reputation could be severely damaged if one of their drivers had a serious crash. Over the past few months, Fleet21 has been taking part in a series of private events around the country with our partners Volvo Car UK and the government backed Driving for Better Business campaign – hosting round table discussions...

WIQS – 2 years on

It is just over 2 years now since the Law Society unveiled its latest Quality Standard The Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme and coming up to 2 years (on 31st October) since the first applications were invited for. Today’s Wills and Probate understand that around 200 law firms have achieved the WIQS quality standard which is low compared to other schemes such as Conveyancing Quality Standard (CQS) which has around 2,700 firms accredited. Why the low numbers? Traditionally quality...

Your all-in-one online compliance training solution

Training Eye is everything you need to easily and cost-effectively manage, train and track all your training types and requirements. Gone are the days of endless paper, boring compliance training and expensive man-hours to meet and manage your training needs. It’s time to take your training online. Meet a refreshing, easy and hassle-free solution to get and remain compliant, assess competencies, deliver mobile-enabled training to any device and track progress. In essence your all-in-one...

Moneypenny sees 10% rise in legal outsourcing in 12 months

LATEST client data released by telephone answering specialist Moneypenny shows a 10.09% rise in the numbers of law firms seeking support with answering their calls when compared to the same period last year. The figure follows findings from the recently published Grant Thornton International Business Report `Outsourcing: Beyond technical expertise’ which highlight changing attitudes to outsourced relationships and the drivers behind them. The report, based on 2,500 senior business...

SRA Risk Outlook 2015/16: A view from Financial Eye

As part of the service to our clients, we at Financial Eye keep abreast of Regulatory developments and update our clients as and when there are matters which we feel will be of interest to them. In the SRA Risk Outlook 2015/16 that has recently been published, Paul Philip, Chief Executive, states “Reducing risk is not, of course, just a matter for us. The profession and law firms have the front line responsibility for managing risk in the legal sector - the power to reduce risk in your...

Loschinee Naidoo promoted

Legal-Eye is proud to announce that Loschinee Naidoo has been promoted to Senior Compliance and Risk Management Specialist. Loschinee joined the Legal Eye team over 2 years ago and has proven her worth through her hard work, diligent work ethic, client relationship skills and being a team player. Jaunita Gobby, Managing Director, said:  “The fantastic journey of 2015 continues and we continue to win new contracts and expand our relationships across the legal sector.  We are so enjoying...

Holiday figures show legal calls spike 12% after a Bank Holiday

LEGAL receptionists at telephone answering specialist Moneypenny are urging law firms to be sure they are prepared for the holiday season, as latest figures highlight the effect a Bank Holiday has on call figures. Looking back over data for Bank Holidays so far this year, the company has found that the average call spike the day after a public holiday is 12.17% The increase comes at a time when law firms are already juggling staff holiday cover with trying to meet the demands of clients,...

EU ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) Directive

There has been quite a lot of publicity recently about the EU ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) Directive which was published in May 2013 and which needs to be enacted into UK law through Regulation under the European Communities Act 1972 from 9th July 2015. The Legal Ombudsman is applying to the Legal Services Board to be certified as an ADR entity by 9th July 2015 on the basis that they will be compliant, provided the necessary approvals sought are forthcoming within “a reasonable...

Telephone answering – the `lost millions’ and the regulatory pitfalls

By Joanna Swash Commercial Director at telephone answering specialist Moneypenny THE quality and delivery of legal services has never been more highly scrutinised. Clients have increasingly high expectations and the pressure’s on to convert new business opportunities, improve overall satisfaction and achieve regulatory compliance – all at the same time. Over recent years much has been written about the way law firms answer their telephone calls, particularly in the wake of Professor...

Counterpart Driving Licence Now Obsolete

The Green Paper Counterpart to a Photo Card Driving Licence had its legal status withdrawn last week. From June 8th no new paper versions are being issued or revised. A new system of electronic records for motoring offences is in place and individuals can apply for a code to provide information to Employers about their driving records. The implications with regard to ID checks and compliance are: Have you updated your documentation to remove the counterpart driving licence as an...

Receptionists ready to cross the equator as 24/7 legal client numbers continue to rise

The latest two receptionists from telephone answering specialist Moneypenny are packing their bags to fly to New Zealand ready to join the team answering overnight calls for UK law firms during their daytime. The pair are heading off for an experience of a lifetime in Takapuna, Auckland as the number of law firms seeking 24/7 telephone answering support continues to rise. During the first quarter (Q1) of 2015, 24% of Moneypenny’s legal clients had round the clock cover, as compared to 17%...

Cybercrime on the increase reveals SRA

Financial Eye is becoming increasingly aware of incidents where attempts have been made to steal monies from solicitor client accounts. For a COFA, the impact of becoming a victim of Cybercrime can seriously affect the firm’s financial viability. Cybercrime issues affecting solicitor firms are increasing the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has revealed. More and more reports are being received of firms either being contacted by con artists or falling victim to fraudulent activity,...

Legal Eye adds Outsourced Secretarial and Administrative Support to Law Firm Offering

With the shortage of experienced conveyancing staff quoted to be as at “crisis point” Legal Eye are pleased to come to the rescue of overburdened law firms with new outsourced secretarial support -Virtual Eye. Virtual Eye offers law firms a flexible secretarial service and administration support on an “as needed” basis and by a team of people with experience in the legal market. Law firms only pay for the services and the time they use so it costs a fraction of hiring permanent or...

Why your law firm needs content

By David Kempster, Consultant - Legal Eye Assuming you have a fully responsive site that is mobile compatible for positive search results with Google….at this point, many a law firm may need to ask the question…. you need to think about a content strategy to keep interest coming. Given the changes to Google’s algorithm from April this year, there has understandably been plenty of focus on dusting off the old website and getting an overhaul done. But this is only half the story –...

Legal Eye and Training Eye team up to offer legal firms an innovative online training solution

Legal Eye and Training Eye team up to offer legal firms an innovative online training solution   London, 21 May 2015. Training Eye, an online training and CPD specialist and partner of Legal Eye, launches an innovative solution making training compliance easy and hassle-free for legal firms. With the SRA’s new approach to CPD comes new challenges for each solicitor and legal entity. Solicitors, Licensed Conveyancers and Legal Executives are required to take a lifelong learning approach...

The risks of remote working

The internet and the proliferation of portable digital media, such as laptops, tablets and smartphones enables many people to work remotely, i.e. away from their office, a practice that is now is commonplace and one that has benefits for both employers and employees. Many people think ‘remote working’ means using a desktop at home, but it means much more than that and includes, for example, using a laptop on a train or in a café and using a smartphone in the street or on the...

How safe is your data?

Data protection is a fast-developing area of law and one carries an increasing risk for all organisations, including law firms. Last year 167 law firms were investigated by the Information Commissioner’s Office (‘ICO’) for potential data breaches, leading to the ICO issued a warning to lawyers to keep their client’s personal information secure. The ICO said: “The number of breaches reported by barristers and solicitors … is troubling. It is important that we sound the alarm at...

Outsourcing Compliance – Can You Afford Not To?

Every Solicitor’s practice in England & Wales has to have a Compliance Officer for Legal Practice (COLP) and a Compliance Officer for Finance and Administration (COFA), who are responsible for ensuring that their Firm has a coherent approach to regulatory matters. They are the first point of contact for the SRA when regulatory matters are raised. An equivalent HOLP and HOFA are in place both in Alternative Business Structures for whom the same provisions apply, and in Licensed...

Business Continuity Management and DRaaS

Effective Business Continuity Management (BCM) is not just about IT systems recovery.  However, with the increasing reliance we all place upon IT to function effectively and new cyber threats emerging, I ask is it time to give IT a little more prominence? Increasing reliance on processing power…. The legal sector, like many others, places ever greater reliance on processing power for efficiencies and differentiation.  Look no further than the widely publicised benefits coming to the...

Raise our prices? Are you crazy?

Many readers will have seen the recently published research by Morar Consulting for Veyo. To remind you, a few of the headlines were: 42% of consumers were unsure that they would use their conveyancer again; 60% found dealing with their solicitors the most stressful aspect of the process; 27% chose their conveyancer because of the price being the lowest, making it the fourth most important factor in choosing a solicitor; 25% said they would pay more for a faster service. Why would...
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