Education sessions for LAW2020 Online: Practice Management include:-
1. Oversight of clients’ money and assets post-Covid
In this time of lockdown when staff have been working from home how do COLPs and COFAs keep an eye on the niceties of the Codes of Conduct and Accounts Rules, with their new relaxations? How do you keep control of client money and reconciliations every 5 weeks? Is everyone compliant with the rules on social networking and [not] publishing their views online? How is confidentiality preserved when offices are closed and unmanned? And, as relaxation are tentatively introduced, what about the future – will we still be worthy of the clients’ trust?
The session will cover:
- Our professional position regarding money and assets
- Fiduciary duties
- Ethical considerations: confidentiality, secrecy and privilege
- Thoughts about money laundering steps
- GDPR implications
- How might we breach our duties generally?
- Covid-specific considerations: remote working and access to systems
- Steps to take
2. Cybercrime on the surge
Fraud and cybercrime are two of the key risks to a law firm today, and in the Covid-19 lull, even more so. Working from home brings greater risks to our security, confidentiality and access to key information as well as many more inventive scams taking advantage of the pandemic. What are the key steps we need to have in place to ensure that our internal systems are as ring-fenced as possible and our staff are working within the confines and disciplines required and especially given the increased risks of working from home? What of our alertness to fraudsters who pretend to be people they are not?
As the Home Office say in their second AML Risk Assessment ‘professionals must all remain vigilant to the persistent and frequent attempts of fraudsters and terrorists to exploit vulnerabilities in their systems’. Add to this our current frustrations and anxieties that can be exploited too.
The session will cover:
- Types of cyber-crime attacks
- Systems attacks
- Fraudulent identity scams
- The recent surge in prevalence
- The steps to take: systems attacks
- The steps to take: ID frauds
- Cyber Essentials
- ISO 27001
- Cyber insurance
3. Client Care correspondence – can we do less?
The SRA Codes of Conduct have undergone much simplification as part of the SRA’s review of its Handbook and the introduction of the Standards & Regulations (STaRs) in 2019. However, the old messages around client care still appear in both iterations of the Codes in much their current, old form. However, what do the Rules require? Is there an opportunity here for simplification of our terms and conditions? Can we send the client less by way of verbiage than we currently do? It would appear so..
This session will cover:
- Client care – as a concept
- Historical underpinnings – did it ever work?
- The concept of the client care ‘letter’
- What must be in writing?
- What is better written down?
- 21st Century approaches – “T&C apply: see website”
- The SRA logo
- New professional guidance – some common sense?
- A route-map for the future
4. The New Normal – the Regulators’ expectations post-Covid
In the recent lockdown many firms were furloughing staff and sending the rest of them home to work. But, how do firms know that staff are remaining compliant during this unprecedented time? Add to this our current frustrations and anxieties, which can be exploited too. What approach have our regulators had, and what will be their attitude post-Covid? Is ‘regulatory forbearance’ a thing of the past? Will their post-lockdown position be as hard as their earlier stance might have suggested?
The session will cover:
- The approach of the SRA in particular pre-Covid
- Regulatory forbearance during lockdown – up to a point
- Where are we as we re-emerge?
- What are the SRA and others looking for, particularly?
- Thoughts on AML, Frauds and scams, confidentiality, protection of money and assets
- Mental health of staff
- Steps to put in place as offices re-open
- Indicators from practice
Trevor Hellawell MA, Solicitor, Trainer and Consultant
Since training at Cambridge and the College of Law I have spent the bulk of my professional career on the training and consultancy circuit, mainly now in the compliance sphere, talking about Standards & Regulations, Professional Ethics, Anti-Money Laundering, Cybercrime, the Accounts Rules and the GDPR. I also have history in the litigation, property, insolvency and environmental sectors and wrote the Law Society’s Environmental Law Handbook, which ran to 7 editions.
Reserve your place
Be included in Practice Management this October, upon booking you will receive instructions on what happens next. Even though our events aren't face-to-face we will be in regular contact about how to get the most out of your event.