The following Practice Compliance practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
The COLP must take all reasonable steps to ensure compliance with:
the SRA Handbook, except the SRA Accounts Rules
other general regulatory requirements that apply to law firms, eg legislation relating to anti-money laundering, data protection or equality and diversity
This obligation is imposed by the SRA and it is important that the COLP implements robust systems and procedures to ensure compliance.
The COLP has three core functions:
internal implementation of compliance systems
external reporting of failures to the SRA
maintaining records of compliance failures
any statutory obligations to which the firm and/or its employees or managers are subject, but only as far as those statutory obligations relate to the firm’s authorised activities
the terms and conditions of the firm’s authorisation
The COLP is not expected to ensure compliance with the SRA Accounts Rules; this falls to the compliance officer for finance and administration (COFA).
This Practice Note is concerned with recording and reporting compliance failures. For more information about the duty to implement compliance systems see Practice Note: Compliance officer for legal practice—COLP—title and duties 2011 [Archived].
A key part of the COLP role is the duty to report compliance failures to the SRA. The SRA distinguishes between material and non-material compliance failures:
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