Firms can inadvertently provide banking facilities in breach of the rules, as Max Masters and Merete Poulson explain
Within the profession, there is a perceived lack of clarity in respect of the rules surrounding the provision of banking facilities, which can lead to potentially serious ramifications.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) stresses the importance of compliance in this area in an attempt to reduce the risks of solicitors aiding money laundering, the avoidance of satisfying insolvency obligations, or concealing assets in disputes.
In the 12 months preceding August 2018, the SRA prosecuted 20 solicitors and three firms; and issued £763,000 in fines in relation to breaches of the banking facilities rule. In a single case, fines have been as high as £500,000.
Although previously prohibited, the 2019 accounts...
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