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Conduct, practice and risk management

Money laundering – SRA review

Money laundering is an ever-present risk for lawyers. We reported in our April 2019 edition (p32) on the SRA’s intention to carry out checks on 400 firms to ensure that they are meeting their AML obligations. The SRA has now released the results of that exercise – which do not make good reading.
 
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SRA – ‘honesty’ and ‘integrity’

As solicitors will be aware, the SRA is introducing the new standards and regulations on 25 November 2019. In addition to new, separate codes of conduct for firms and solicitors, the SRA has reduced the principles from ten to seven. The SRA describes these as ‘the fundamental tenets of ethical behaviour that we expect all those that we regulate to uphold’. 
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Freelance solicitors – beware pitfalls

Solicitors are no doubt aware that the SRA is introducing the new standards and regulations from 25 November 2019, which include separate codes of conduct for solicitors and firms. A controversial aspect of the new regime will allow solicitors to do non-reserved work for unauthorised businesses or as a freelancer (subject to some restrictions). The SRA takes the view that more liberal practising rules will enable the public to access legal services more easily. The choices available to solicitors include working as:
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Client care letters - SRA guidance

The new codes of conduct for solicitors and firms come into force on 25 November 2019. The SRA is releasing guidance on various aspects of the new standards and regulations and has recently made comments about client care letters.

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Money laundering – mitigation of risk

Each month we consider conduct and practice issues relevant to busy practitioners. This month we will consider the ever-present issue of money laundering.
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Cybercrime – risks

Each month we consider conduct and practice issues relevant to busy practitioners. This month we will consider the ever-present risk of cybercrime. While a threat to all practice areas, it represents a significant risk to those carrying out conveyancing work due to the pressure of work and the sums of money going through client accounts.
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Conveyancing – conflicts

Each month we consider conduct and practice issues relevant to busy practitioners. This month we will consider some of the less obvious conflicts which might arise in a conveyancing matter.

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Confidentiality – existence and content of will

Each month we consider conduct and practice issues relevant to busy practitioners. This month we will consider the importance of keeping confidentiality in mind when disclosing the existence or contents of a will.
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Form OS1 – priority period

Each month we consider conduct and practice issues relevant to busy practitioners. This month we will consider the importance of the OS1 priority period to conveyancers.
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Most-read articles

Civil partnerships – heterosexual couples
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
The Civil Partnership (Opposite-sex Couples) Regulations 2019 are in force as of 2 December 2019 and permit heterosexual couples to enter into civil partnerships. Read more...
VAT reverse charge – postponed
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
 A useful article analyses the potential implications of the reverse charge on VAT, which was due to be introduced for specified construction services in October 2019 but which has now been... Read more...
Electronic communications – practitioners beware
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
 A useful article by Hardwicke Chambers reminds practitioners of the risks of a hasty or ill thought out email or social media post. The writer cites a situation where an email from a solicitor to... Read more...
Jurisdictional challenges – the basics
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
An article considers a recent SC case in which litigants have been criticised for the way in which jurisdictional challenges are being conducted. The case concerned a group of some 1,800 Zambian... Read more...
LiPs – tips for dealing
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
Litigants in person (LiPs) are on the increase due in part to legal aid cuts and an increase in the small claims limit. Maintaining the balance of treating LiPs fairly, while also acting in the best... Read more...
‘Elevation’ – front and rear of building
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
 A 99-year lease contained a covenant prohibiting T from making any alterations to the elevation or external decoration of the property. Read more...
L changing locks – an act of surrender?
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
There are various ways in which a leasehold estate in land may come to an end. One of these is surrender by operation of law. Sometimes the surrender of a lease does not take place by deed but is... Read more...
Beneficial ownership – reminder of key points
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
Practitioners who advise co-owners on the acquisition of property will find a recent article reviewing the case law on beneficial ownership very useful. The key points are: Read more...
Sanctions – vexatious litigant
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
In long-running divorce and financial remedy proceedings, R was found to be an ‘exceptionally vexatious litigant’ throughout. Mostyn J made a general civil restraint order and a protection from... Read more...
Disciplinary process – external bodies
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
 A useful article considers two recent cases on the issues that can arise for employers carrying out a disciplinary procedure when an external body becomes involved eg a regulatory body, police, a... Read more...

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