Solicitors Conference 2020

Ideal for partners and senior managers with responsibility for a number of solicitor clients, our one-day conference will cover a wide range of practical issues. A key point of discussion on the day will be the new SRA Accounts Rules – we will answer your questions on the new approach and the impact these will have on your clients.

This conference will run as a live virtual conference via Zoom.

Bookings can be made as usual online or via emailing our enrolments team.

 

 


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Full conference agenda


Jatinder Loyal, SRA

  • SRA Standards & Regulations – effective from 25 November what are the regulatory obligations on solicitors and law firms
  • SRA risk update – SRA’s priority risk areas that it’s focusing on
  • Reporting and enforcement – who can and should report matters to the SRA and its approach to enforcement.

Robert Mowbray, Taylor Mowbray LLP

  • Why do profit sharing arrangements matter and why should they be reviewed regularly?
  • How do firms choose to share profits and is there a best way?
  • Some recent examples where advice has been given
              Not profitable but wanting to provide opportunity for the next generation
              Simplifying overly complicated arrangements
              Rewarding founding partners and their successors fairly
              Traditional lockstep arrangements
  • Other issues – salaries, drawings, capital requirements, interest on capital, profit distributions and capital profits

 


Matthew Moore, Infolegal Ltd

The strict enforcement of the regulatory regime found in the Money Laundering Regulations 2017, as amended by the Fifth EU Directive in January this year, has been one of the major strands of compliance management in most solicitors’ firms of late. Following two more limited thematic reviews within the profession during 2019 the SRA then requested 7000 firms to confirm by the end of January that they had a valid risk assessment in place. That risk assessment needs to be the basis of a policy that is in line with the particular profile of that firm. How do law firms (and accountancy firms) address the many complexities of the anti-money laundering regime? There are also future EU Directives in the pipeline: in our current half-in/half-out status will we address them and, if so, what will they require?

  • The SRA reviews – how are firms coping with the demands being placed upon them?
  • Risk assessments and compliant policies – what are the main features?
  • The Fifth Directive and Amendment Regulations – what were the main changes required?
  • Looking ahead – an amended NCA reporting regime and more EU legislation?

Steve Collings, Leavitt Walmsley Associates Ltd

Over recent years, the SRA have made various amendments to the Solicitors Accounts Rules as a means of trying to simplify the requirements. In the past, they have been notorious for being complex with SRA Accountant’s Report forms often being qualified for breaches – some of which may be outside the control of the solicitor.

On 25 November 2019 new rules were introduced and while they are simpler and shorter, a sound understanding is required as there is scope to breach the SRA Accounts Rules due to changes that have been made. Reporting accountants will find themselves working to two sets of rules where an accounting period spans 25 November 2019.

This session will cover:

  • The role of the reporting accountant and the statutory duty to report to the SRA
  • How to plan for completing an accountant’s report and what checks to carry out at a law firm
  • What factors might suggest a risk to client money
  • Frequent breaches of the rules to watch out for

 


Andy Larkum, ADL Consulting

Some quick facts and figures:

  • Whilst only 3 fines (or notifications) relating to the GDPR have been issued in the UK to date, a total of 190 fines have been issued across the EU
  • 160 of those fines were for "Insufficient technical and organisational measures to ensure information security"
  • In Q3 of 2019/20, a total of 2795 data security incidents were reported to the ICO across 22 sectors:
  • 258 of those reports were in the Finance/insurance sector
  • 223 were in the Legal sector

In this session we will:

  • Unpack some security incidents to see where the failings were and what we can learn from them
  • Revisit the foundational principles set out in the GDPR and how they apply to your daily work
  • Look at some of the practical things that you and your clients can be doing to reduce the risk of data security incidents

Darren Whelan, ILFM

This session will focus on the correct treatment of disbursements for VAT purposes and recharged overheads. It will have an emphasis on the practical application of both HMRC’s and the SRA definition of disbursement to help law firms to remain compliant and will look at recent case law to enable law firms to easily identify what is and what isn’t a disbursement for VAT purposes.

Conference speakers


Since joining the Law Society Group in May 2003, Jatinderpal has played a key role in developing the SRA’s approach to outcomes-focused regulation and the supervision of law firms. Jatinderpal has led on the SRA’s approach to monitoring the ban on referral fees in personal injury and the regulation of financial services. Of late, his work has focused on the SRA’s Accounts Rules and Client Protection arrangements and improving the SRA’s engagement with small firms.

Jatinderpal works closely with the Ministry of Justice, the Financial Conduct Authority, Reporting Accountants and other key stakeholders.


Robert is an accountant who has worked in and with professional service firms for 30 years and who is an expert on law firm profitability and management. He has provided training and consultancy services to over 1,000 firms across 30 countries. He is regularly asked to help with a wide range of issues including time recording, pricing and fee negotiation, project management, accelerating cash flow, strategy, profit sharing arrangements and improving the quality of management information.

Robert is the author of “Maximising the profitability of law firms” and the annual NatWest financial benchmarking survey and has recently co-authored “COFA – The law firm finance & administration handbook”. He has been voted “Trainer of the year” by the Legal Education & Training Group.


Matt Moore is a leading authority on law firm compliance issues. He is the Managing Director of Infolegal, a specialist legal risk management and compliance consultancy. He is a consultant solicitor on disciplinary concerns at Jayne Willetts & Co and is also the longest serving speaker at Central Law Training.

Matt was instrumental in the early development of the Law Society’s Lexcel Standard and wrote a number of editions of the ‘Lexcel Office Procedures Manual’ during that time. He works with a wide range of law firms, from top 20 City practices to sole practitioners. He has written many titles over the years, his current publications being ‘How to Decode the Codes of Conduct’ and ‘Money Laundering Compliance for Solicitors’.


Steve Collings is a partner at Leavitt Walmsley Associates who are a firm of Chartered Certified Accountants in Cheshire. Steve trained and qualified with the firm. Steve is also a member of the UK GAAP Technical Advisory Group at the FRC and the author of several books and articles on the subject of accounting and auditing.


Andy Larkum has over 16 years experience in the IT industry. In recent years, he has specialised in Cyber Security and GDPR. An accomplished speaker, Andy excels at making this often confusing topic clear and accessible to both the knowledgeable and the uninitiated alike.


Darren has over 20 years’ experience within legal finance, working both in practice and within the legal IT industry. Darren is the Director of Education & Development, responsible for managing the education and development for the Institute, including training and qualifications, to ensure the consistently high standards of the Institute.

Darren has been a member of the ILFM since 2002 and has sat on the ILFM Executive Council since 2011 becoming Chair in 2018. During that time, Darren has been subject to many external audits including SRA, VAT, PAYE and has successfully defended many ILFM members during VAT inspections. Darren is the author and trainer of the ILFM’s VAT for Legal Accounting workshop which offers guidance and practical advice about key aspects of VAT compliance, including the treatment of disbursements and  recharges. Darren is also co-author and trainer for ILFM SRA Accounts Rules workshop and has recently co-written “VAT for Legal Professionals”. Darren is also one of the examiners for the Institute.

One Day Conference