Setting up policies and procedures should not be a one-time thing
The environment in which law firms tend to operate in is highly regulated and supervised; therefore, it is highly essential for a firm to set out the ways in which it operates in a series of procedures, policies and documents.
If the firm just has a standard set of policies and procedures in place is not enough. Any firm should ensure that its policies are correctly monitored and enforced in a style that truly reflects how the firm works and ensure that they are up to date with its regulatory requirements.
The SRA has been particularly meticulous in their sanctions against law firms that breach their obligations, focusing primarily on AML failures. In recent disciplinary actions, they have highlighted the concerns surrounding firms not putting strong enough processes in place. An example of this is one sanction firm which accepted that its misconduct was “unintentional and unwitting” and occurred as a result of the firm’s “failure to properly monitor its own policies and procedures”.
If a firm fails to have a suite of documents that reflect how they work and direct their staff on responsibilities is a reflection of their compliance failures and exposes them to criticism by the SRA and potentially the firm’s Professional Indemnity Insurers. In order to combat these issues, a firm should adopt the following suggestions:
Bespoke documents and procedures – A documented process can quickly become out of date; this can especially be the case when using template documents that do not reflect the reality of the firm’s internal workings. If you adopt a standard template for documents, they can inadvertently change how the firm operates in practice and result in a mismatch between the written documents and the reality. One way in which a firm can protect itself is to ensure that its documentation is bespoke to them and reflects what they genuinely do in practice.
Monitor and control– The best way to manage and control how a firm operates is to record, monitor and document the processes and the procedures adopted by the firm and ensure that they are monitored and maintained in practice on a day-to-day basis.
Training– A firm should ensure they provide training on new or updated procedures to all the appropriate staff members on their team.
How can these compliance failures be avoided?
Expert Process and Procedures Drafting
We work with our parent company, The Strategic Partner, to provide you with high quality and bespoke document drafting in consultation with your firm and incorporate a range of areas, from single documents which could relate to Client Care to a more complex series of documents, like Risk and Compliance and Anti-Money Laundering.
We generate bespoke documents accurately and clearly reflecting how your practice operates. We will help you to establish the best practices and implementation of any changes ensuring that your policies match reality.
AML and Compliance work across a range of sectors, including:
- Insurance Agent and Brokers
- Estate Agents
- Financial Services
- Art and Antiques Dealers
Our document drafting services include but are not limited to:
- Drafting Compliance Policies and AML Policies
- Process implementation
- Data Protection
- Compliance Training and AML Training
For further information and a more comprehensive solution, our Risk, Regulation and Compliance Service (Including AML) has been designed to provide various types of law firms of all sizes with a compliant environment. We provide bespoke policies and procedures to the workings of your law firm while drawing your attention to any gaps in your risk and compliance activities. – Read more here.
For a more comprehensive solution, our Risk, Regulation and Compliance Service (including AML) has been designed to provide law firms of all sizes with a compliant environment. Included in the standard service, we provide policies and procedures bespoke to how your firm works whilst drawing your attention to any gaps in your risk and compliance activities. – Risk, Regulation and Compliance Service, including AML.
AML and Compliance – Providing the highest quality AML and Compliance Services
At AML and Compliance, we guide regulated companies through the complexities involved in AML, regulation, and compliance obligations.
It is integral for a regulated company to have the appropriate regulation and compliance standards. If these elements are not adhered to, and the robust processes are not communicated, implemented, and measured for their effectiveness, this could put your business at risk.
Our services bring focus to businesses on their Anti Money Laundering and Regulator requirements through the implementation of effective policies, procedures, training, and consultancy.
We work with regulated businesses to implement compliance structures that run as an undercurrent to their business, allowing the company to function in a complementary way as opposed to a restrictive one. Understanding the regulations is a requirement for a business’ compliance. Our effective training and frequent reviews of your company will inevitably ensure your business is compliant.
For more information about AML and Compliance, you can call us on 0203 985 8553, email us email@example.com or visit our website to make an online enquiry.