What are your areas of risk and compliance specialism?
Experience as a business analyst in a financial role has enabled Norman to specialise in risk and business improvement management in a regulatory environment. Using these skills enables Norman to work with firms to identify risks and a range of practical mitigation steps which a firm can easily implement.
Assignments in the early part of 2018 saw Norman providing a detailed practical understanding and knowledge to firms for GDPR, the Money Laundering Regulations 2017, especially Source of Wealth considerations, and more recently helping firms prepare for their Lexcel assessments. Some of these engagements saw Norman delivering training sessions to staff teams including practical examples to better help firms to understand their responsibilities.
For Norman, compliance is the result of simple business improvement processes. The challenge is to get individuals in their firms to recognise that compliance isn’t costly, dull and boring. It’s the natural result of taking business challenges and finding better ways of handling and managing solutions. One of the biggest issues for successful businesses in the UK is managing staff. The most successful, have at their core a set of Policies, Procedures and Plans which help train employees in the ways of doing business in xyz solicitors. Being legally qualified, doesn’t automatically mean you know how to run a business, or that the way you have handled a conveyancing transaction in your previous firm is the right way of doing it. A set of policies, procedures and plans which have been developed means less time dealing with expensive mistakes, supervising and fire-fighting and potentially more strategic time generating efficiencies and more business. Employees, left to their own devices, bring with them their previous firm’s ways and bad habits!
What’s your background?
Norman is a highly experienced, Business Development and Relationship Management professional, delivering business improvement solutions with the owners of small and medium sized businesses for over 20 years. A very strong financial and risk management background gained through 25 years with a major bank, including 10 years as a lending manager to the professional sector, is underpinned by his depth of all-round business experience. When combined with his ability to objectively review a business, its leaders and market position this ensures a high level of stakeholder satisfaction.
Norman holds an ILM Level 7 Certificate in Executive Coaching & Mentoring. He gained Lexcel Consultant status in 2010 and has considerable experience of working with the legal profession.
Norman has regularly presented around the country on the themes of Risk Management, Getting your Outward Facing documents Compliant, GDPR, AML and Risk Management processes for a COLP. He has previously written several articles on the impact of OFR, Vulnerable Clients and ABS.
Current projects include working with a number of firms either sharpening their Compliance procedures, supporting them on their journey to Lexcel, or trouble- shooting risk management issues.
Self-employed, Norman also works in other business sectors for several local authorities in the North West of England dealing with anything from financial distress to businesses seeking growth opportunities and needing strategic direction. This brings a range of practical skills and knowledge to invest into the legal sector.
How would you describe your approach to working with clients?
Whilst Norman can easily tell firms what they need to do, his coaching and mentoring approach ensures the eventual knowledge transfer required to get organisational buy-in and change embedded with greater understanding. Norman endeavours to remain at the forefront of business and compliance change, keeping his client firms appraised of current and emerging risks to enable them to begin preparations in advance. At the same time, for firms who require the additional support of 1 to 1 compliance support that is provided – the approach being to provide a starting point for the firm to build upon and develop into their own work.
What’s the most rewarding thing about your work?
Recent assignment with a Home Counties firm to rescue their Lexcel preparations after a disastrous assessment last year which went to Law Society appeal. With a little over a month to the 2018 assessment, their paperwork was way short of expectations. After two on-site visits and three days off-site work, they sailed through their assessment in August with several recommendations.
Helping firms that are struggling to interpret complex subjects like GDPR to overcome fears and complexity through simple “little and often” steps. GDPR was particularly challenging, interesting and rewarding. With the clock quickly running down to 25th May 2018, many had left things too late to get a good understanding in such a short space of time.
Working with a number of firms on various GDPR related projects Norman was able to help them ready themselves for the live date, prioritising key front line tasks. Providing face to face group awareness training of GDPR help embed understanding in firms. It also unearthed some amusing and humorous stories too! Work continues with some of these firms to help them back-fill their procedural records, but they were ready for client engagement on time.
If you hadn’t become a risk and compliance expert what would you have done instead?
Retired family man to three daughters, one of which currently at 14 has ambitions to be an Equine Vet. So that objective will have to be kicked into the long grass for a few more years to pay for the work experience and education!