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Demystifying compliance: Tips to identify and tackle material breaches

Nick Fluck considers how law firms in the UK should define, record and report ‘material’ breaches to the Solicitors Regulation Authority  

19 June 2014

Compliance officers and those with compliance responsibilities in the UK often feel isolated in a regulatory landscape that is regularly shifting and changing. With the recent introduction of the ninth version of the SRA Handbook and the tenth version expected to follow shortly, it is likely that there will be further changes ahead.

Principle 8 of the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA’s) outcomes-focused regulatory regime requires firms to run their businesses “with proper governance and sound financial and risk management principles”. Integral to this is the requirement for each firm to appoint two compliance officers: a compliance officer for legal practice (COLP) and one for finance and administration (COFA).

Both the COLP and COFA are responsible for ensuring that their firm has adequate sys...

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