Protecting your practice—an introduction to law firm risk management
Produced in partnership with Pam Grover-Mitchell
Protecting your practice—an introduction to law firm risk management

The following Practice Compliance guidance note Produced in partnership with Pam Grover-Mitchell provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Protecting your practice—an introduction to law firm risk management
  • Where to start
  • Who sets risk management strategy?
  • Considering risk
  • List and prioritise risks
  • Accountability
  • Troubleshooting
  • Maintenance and review
  • Risk management—a cultural, movable feast

Risk management is at the heart of the Solicitors Regulation Authority's Handbook.

Risk management is a cornerstone of a firm's governance, culture and business strategy. It requires the application of principle to specific circumstances. The challenge for law firms is that they must define their own principles.

Most lawyers easily detect potential weaknesses in day-to-day practice, but strategic management of risks to the entire practice comes less naturally.

This Practice Note sets out practical steps and considerations for law firms in managing their risks.

Where to start

Sound risk management starts with identifying the risks that your firm faces in the first instance. It may help to think of these as falling into some common categories:

Category Examples
Operational (the most obvious and frequent risk in professional businesses) Poor supervision
Application of bad law
Strategic (directly impacts the firm’s future success) Changes to the firm’s charging structure
Outsourcing
Financial (most often overlooked) Depending upon one client for too much of the firm's business (ie over 15%)
Faulty leveraging
Hazard (infrequent, high impact, over-publicised) Reputational risk
Natural disaster

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