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Briefing quick find:

On the money

Last year, the government consulted on changes to the anti-money laundering regime, citing an unnecessary burden on business and a desire to reduce red tape. Press reports at the time suggested that more than 200 criminal offences could be abolished…

To report a fault, please hold

There is no definition of ‘serious misconduct’ in the solicitors handbook; nor any indication of when the SRA may consider a failure to comply with or achieve a principle, outcome or rule to be ‘serious’. Since solicitors and firms are…

False promises

 Referral fees are an emotive issue for solicitors. The issue of what, exactly, constitutes a ‘referral’ and, indeed, a ‘referral fee’ has troubled regulators and the courts for more than ten years. Many attempts have been made to address the…

The end of the beginning

6 October 2010 brought us the Legal Ombudsman (LeO); 6 October 2011 brought us outcomes-focused regulation (OFR) and alternative business structures (ABS) – not yet regulated by the SRA but still a reality. While it is undeniable that times –…

High Definition

The politics behind regulation of legal services have been very much to the fore of late – particularly evident in the debate over referral fees since Jack Straw rather belatedly suggested that they ought to be banned. Notwithstanding that the…

Resisting temptation

‘OFR’, or outcomes-focused regulation, will be with us on 6 October 2011. Although the start date for the SRA to become a regulator of ABS has been pushed back “probably” until the end of the year, it is full steam…

Fair play

It is no longer headline news that the way solicitors are regulated is changing from October. Nor is it particularly remarkable that the Solicitors Regulation Authority has admitted that it needs to take steps to build a new relationship with…

Called into question

‘Evidence-based regulation’ sounds like a good thing. It implies that regulators will only take action where there is evidence to support any decision that they might make. I’m all in favour of that approach. This week, however, the Legal Services…