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  • Alternatives to Client Accounts – Part 2

    In my last blog, I wrote about the Law Society’s consultation on alternatives to client accounts. It’s a highly-charged subject. These are my personal thoughts on the matter.

    Looking after someone else’s money always carries huge responsibility.  It’s a fiduciary arrangement, with the equitable duties arising from that relationship. The SRA Accounts Rules – now in version 14 – provide further overlay. Together, these impose considerable responsibility.

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    Alternatives to Client Accounts

    For some time there has been growing concern about solicitors operating their own client accounts. The usual reason is increasing cyber crime, and the fallibility of client accounts containing vast amounts of money with relatively unsophisticated controls. The firm’s COFA should lead on all this.

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    Don’t A’Court Disaster – Proper AML Checks are Vital

    The high-profile case of Purrunsing –v- A’Court (a firm) (2016) is all the proof you need that Anti Money Laundering checks must be taken seriously. They are not an administrative function that you can delegate to a junior member of staff – or worse still, ignore.  You must read and assess all the information and draw conclusions from it. Had Mr A’Court done so in this case, he might not be nursing a headache of at least £230,000.

    Cheater.

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    When Your Fixed Fee is Not a Fixed Fee

    Are you missing out because you do not understand the Solicitors Accounts Rules as well as you should? Many Solicitors firms could markedly improve their cashflow without any new clients coming through the door. But it takes some skill and an understanding of the Accounts Rules.

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    SRA Statement of Competence – What it Means for Solicitors (Part 2)

    As I discussed in Part 1 of this blog, the old CPD requirements are going. Instead, as from November 2016 (and from this November if you prefer) you must certify that you have the ability to perform the tasks required by your job to the expected standard. In particular, you must demonstrate continuing competence in four broad areas:

    People at Work

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