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Our search for a COLP candidate led to some difficult questions

By Ian Jeffery, Managing Partner, Lewis Silkin

22 March 2012

Our recent search for a new colleague qualified to play the role of compliance officer for legal practice (COLP) within the firm has highlighted just what a new world we are all working in from a compliance perspective.

As managing partner, I have historically taken quite a hands-on approach to risk management, chairing the firm’s risk committee and taking ownership of a number of change projects, such as our overall preparation for outcomes-focused regulation (OFR) and our response to the introduction of various new pieces of legislation.

But, with the move to OFR and the specific requirement to appoint a COLP (and a COFA, although that has been more straightforward), we decided that it was time to appoint a full-time compliance professional within the business.

The gist of our thinking was that while a managing partner or CEO should spend a certain amount of time on risk and compliance in order to signal its importance to the wider firm,...

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