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Only an estimated 20% of law graduates get training contracts and qualify as solicitors. Many others choose alternative careers in the legal industry. Today we delve into the work of compliance analysts and how the role differs from fee-earning positions.
Compliance departments in law firms deal with a wide range of regulatory issues that arise in the course of running a legal practice, such as client onboarding, prevention of financial crime and ensuring compliance with other legislation, for example, the Modern Slavery Act 2015 or Data Protection Act 2018. The purpose of their work is to identify existing and potential risks related to carrying out a legal business and taking appropriate measures to mitigate them.
Analysts who assist with onboarding new clients and accepting new mandates are usually tasked with conducting thorough research about the client and its reputation and ensuring there are no conflicts of interest between the firm’s clients, following the rules imposed by the SRA. This requires strong research skills as well as commercial analysis of incoming mandates in the context of both activities of the client and the firm’s internal policies. Some specialists will also draft engagement letters, carefully outlining the scope of the advice to be given, the firm’s duties to the client and the general terms and conditions of the service.
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