In the Media

'Safe harbour? compliance advice for whole profession

PUBLISHED May 2, 2012

Thursday 03 May 2012 by John Hyde

The Law Society has announced it will offer 'safe harbour' compliance advice to the whole profession.

The move follows Chancery Lane's launch last month of the Compliance Reference Group (CRG) pilot for enquiries on regulation from top-100 firms.

The service will now be available to all firms through the Society's Risk and Compliance Service, providing advice to compliance officers for legal practice and for finance and administration (COLPs and COFAs).

If an individual or firm follows advice from the CRG or Risk and Compliance Service, and then faces action by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, the Law Society will stand by them.

Law Society chief executive Desmond Hudson said: 'There is clearly a demand for it. Both schemes harness the "wisdom of the profession" to equip individuals with advice and support to help compliance.

'The compliance community who are members of the Risk and Compliance Service will be able to benefit from the same level of support that the top-100 firms within the Compliance Reference Group receive. This new initiative enables that to happen.'

The new service goes live on 8 May. Firms must nominate COLPs and COFAs to the SRA by 31 July.