These days, the legal compliance of all law firms and solicitors is heavily regulated by the SRA, and the penalties that can be imposed upon non-compliant firms are frequently severe. Because of this, there is a natural desire to remain within the rules at all times; integrity and a good reputation is the life-blood of a legal firm after all, and a tarnished image can prove to be disastrous, even if a legal firm survives a brush with the SRA.
However, the fact is that obtaining compliance will mean implementing changes to your procedures, and some law firms view this ‘red tape’ as extremely inconvenient. They are not necessarily being unscrupulous in their dealings, but they are instead conforming to a sort of ‘bare-bones’ style of compliance which will look the part when under brief scrutiny, but won’t necessarily be all that robust.
‘Looking the Part’
This sort of compliance is sometimes referred to as ‘cosmetic compliance’. In the same way that a facial cosmetic will only cover up the underlying issues, rather than resolving them, this style of compliance looks the part when a regulator take a cursory glance at a company’s proceedings, but it wouldn’t tick all of the boxes if that firm was subjected to a really thorough examination. It’s normally enough to keep a business ticking over without undue problems, but it does mean that the business in question would have to step-up its compliance in the event of an inspection.
So What’s The Problem?
We’ve already related one problem with cosmetic compliance; it leaves you floundering when the inspectors come calling, which is exactly when you need to be at your most confident. However, that’s far from the only issue, as a firm with fairly superficial compliance is actually robbing itself of efficiency. The very best law firms understand that compliance is not a matter of keeping a business safe from the authorities, but is instead a thoroughly good business model that will yield real results. When your compliance is only skin-deep, you’re actually settling for relatively lazy practice that isn’t the best that you could bring to the table.
Attaining Real Compliance
Of course, the area of legal compliance is an extremely thorny sector to navigate. Sometimes a solicitors or legal firm can actually think that it is ticking all of the compliance boxes when, in reality, their methods are less than ideal. As such, superficial compliance can be a matter of a lack of understanding or awareness, and not anything to do with trying to get away with as little as possible for as long as possible.
Unless your knowledge of legal compliance is pretty encyclopaedic, you can easily find yourself slipping up in this important area, and mistakes, no matter whether they are accidental or intentional, will still be looked upon severely. Because of this we at Enderley Consulting can provide you with a specialist legal consultant to assist you in your quest to attain total compliance.
Not only will our help ensure that you are free from compliance-related worries, but it will also give you the certainty to know that your legal firm is operating as efficiently as possible; which is always a welcome reassurance. Furthermore, our consultants can guide you towards being numbered among the various Lexcel accredited firms in the UK; a distinction that will set you apart as belonging to an organisation that cultivates the very highest standards. If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you with your risk and compliance requirements, please don’t hesitate to contact us now by calling 01939 262502 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.