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The new rules of the compliance game

New entrants are better than law firms at systems and at resolving complaints, so however unclear you think the new regulatory requirements are, you can't afford to be complacent about compliance

24 October 2013

When Antony Townsend started as chief executive of the newly established Solicitors Regulation Authority in 2007, he found an organisation creaking at the seams.

There were 10,000 solicitors on the regulatory database with a date of birth of 1 January 1990 because their records had been lost, no IT support team to speak of, and only one person in the whole of the UK qualified to deal with problems, he said last week at the SRA's COLP conference.

Much has changed since, both internally and externally. In the main, the regulatory arm of the profession seems a leaner, more focused organisation. Undoubtedly outcomes-focused regulation will be remembered as the defining moment of SRA Mark I, together with the policy realignment of divisions to spend more in policy and supervision, and less in interventions. This much was reasonably under control, even the teething problems of OFR.

What was not predictable was the extent to which the impendi...

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