The following Practice Compliance guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
This Practice Note discusses the approval process all prospective compliance officers for finance and administration (COFAs) must go through to be approved by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to take up this role, including the requirement to satisfy the SRAs Suitability Test.
Approval can be subject to conditions on the firm’s license.
The primary legislation and SRA Handbook differ regarding:
which type of firm is required to appoint a COFA, and
the title of this role
LSA 2007 requires ABSs to appoint a Head of finance and administration (HOFA), but there is no corresponding statutory requirement for solicitor practices.
The SRA has an important changes when implementing the legislation—the title has changed to from Head of Finance & Administration (HOFA) to Compliance Officer for Finance & Administration (COFA):
The obligation to obtain approval of the COFA falls on the firm. Qualified solicitors do not have the benefit of automatic approval.
The application is made by the firm and must include sufficient evidence to satisfy the SRA of the proposed COFA's suitability. The COFA must also declare that the information supplied about them is correct and complete.
The SRA can only approve a COFA if it is satisfied that the applicant is a fit and proper person.
When assessing the application, the SRA will apply its Suitability Test.
The SRA will
**excludes LexisPSL Practice Compliance, Practice Management and Risk and Compliance. To discuss trialling these LexisPSL services please email customer service via our online form. Free trials are only available to individuals based in the UK. We may terminate this trial at any time or decide not to give a trial, for any reason. Trial includes one question to LexisAsk during the length of the trial.
To view the latest version of this document and thousands of others like it, sign-in to LexisPSL or register for a free trial.
Existing user? Sign-in
Take a free trial
Take a free trial
0330 161 1234