COLP and COFA Compliance Support and File Review Service

Manage compliance effectively, meet regulatory requirements on an
ongoing basis and free up valuable fee earning time

COLP and COFA Compliance Support and File Review Service

COLP Support

Compliance officers face significant challenges. Often, as well as existing fee earning and other day-to-day duties, they have to spend a considerable amount of time planning and implementing compliance, managing risks and devising ways of being able to demonstrate this to the regulator. The roles of COLP and COFA carry significant personal liability. Firms and individuals failing to comply can face significant fines and potentially be struck off.

You can outsource your practical compliance duties to our team of experts who provide an ongoing service, ensuring you keep pace with the demands of the continuously changing regulatory environment.

We provide comfort and peace of mind through a range of services, including:

  • e-mail and telephone support for your compliance queries
  • regular on-site attendance and support
  • file and ledger reviews
  • updating your risk register and risk management action plan
  • training for COLP, COFA, fee earners and staff
  • advice on and assistance with SRA requests for information or inspections
  • regulatory updates

File Review Service

File reviews will reveal the extent to which fee earners comply with key requirements such as anti-money laundering checks, client and matter risk assessments, conflict checks, scoping the retainer and the provision of costs and client care information to clients. File reviews should thus form an essential part of any practical compliance regime.

Finding the time and making sure the expertise is on hand to undertake thorough and regular file reviews is difficult. More and more firms are now outsourcing this essential work.

All of our compliance experts have not only worked as solicitors in private practice, but have a combined experience of working for the SRA for over 60 years and have provided hands-on compliance assistance to over 3,000 firms, having undertaken file reviews as an essential part of assessing those firms’ compliance arrangements.

We currently undertake file reviews for a wide range of firms, from sole practitioners and high street firms through to city firms and large multinationals. We have also helped a number of firms make their own internal file review systems more effective.

There are many benefits to outsourcing your file reviews:

  • saving time and money
  • improving efficiency
  • possible reduction in PII premium
  • consistency and objectivity
  • demonstrating compliance with Lexcel, CQS, WIQS or SQM
  • demonstrating compliance with service level agreements and protocols

COFA Support

We will give your COFA the support and tools to:

  • ensure your accounts are compliant with the SRA Accounts Rules
  • avoid breaches of the SRA Accounts Rules
  • detect areas that would be of concern to the SRA.

Our team includes SRA Accounts Rule experts Andrew Becconsall and Ian East, both solicitors who worked in the SRA’s Forensic Investigation Unit for many years.

We regularly assist COFAs by:

  • performing a series of control checks on your accounting systems, including the authorisation of transactions, client and office reconciliation controls, aged balances and client matter balances
  • carrying out file and ledger reviews targeting high-risk areas, providing you with the assurance such independent expert scrutiny brings to a task which is an essential part of the COFA’s compliance regime
  • giving expert advice on any remedial action identified as necessary
  • completing a detailed record of any non-compliance identified – vital for demonstrating compliance
  • giving detailed feedback to your COFA and provide you with records of checks and reviews undertaken for production to the SRA as and when necessary
  • providing email and telephone support to the COFA and other accounts staff

The SRA requires firms to have adequate systems and controls and to monitor financial stability and maintains a watchlist of firms it is particularly concerned about and requests financial data from a variety of firms that operate in areas experiencing particular economic pressures.

We know from experience that the SRA have intervened into firms even though their accounts were regularly audited by an independent accountant.

We work with you to ensure inadequate accounts systems and controls do not lead to financial difficulty and failure.

Learn more about our extensive training programme to help you ensure your staff understand their compliance responsibilities

What our clients say

It is reassuring to know that the team at Legal Compliance Services are always ready to assist, especially when it comes to the more complex compliance issues.

Justyn McIlhinney
Partner, Temple Bright

Legal Compliance Services came highly recommended to us and quickly became an invaluable source of advice for any regulatory compliance matters. As qualified solicitors, Richard and his team have a sound commercial understanding and with their SRA background also know what the regulator is looking for. They take a detailed and thorough approach to compliance whilst being refreshingly down to earth and full of common sense.

Andrew Smith
Director, McDermott Smith Law

Legal Compliance Services has been providing me support since I started my own law firm and we have grown with them. We have managed to remain fully compliant with very little effort and if we have a compliance issue we have an expert to pick the phone up to. Compliance puts a lot of people off starting their own firms but it is so easy and not expensive if you just get the correct support. I can highly recommend Richard Robinson and his team at Legal Compliance Services.

Kim Teichmann
Partner and Founder, KT Construction Law

In today’s legal environment it is vital to have specialist assistance in compliance as it is at the core of our business. Richard and his team provide focussed practical guidance and advice. They are very responsive and are outcomes focused. They understand the commercial environment that we are operating in and advise accordingly.

Ian Pearl
Partner, OGR Stock Denton

The team at the Legal Compliance have always be knowledgeable, prompt and friendly. They have been able to help us manage the day to day compliance requirements of private practice as well changes in regulation.

Joseph Mullis
Director, WSP Solicitors

Our file reviews have never been so well organised and thorough thanks to Legal Compliance Services. We are consistently on track with SRA compliance due to their guidance and support. Richard Robinson is always an email or phone call away!

Louise Creighton
Senior Partner, Creighton & Partners

Richard and his team have years of experience at conducting file reviews in a thorough yet efficient manner. Their practical and constructive advice has really helped us improve our internal processes.

Suzanne Lee
Partner, mfg Solicitors LLP