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Coronavirus advice

How we can help you plan, prepare and protect your organisation in light of COVID-19

Law firms, as with all other businesses, face an unprecedented challenge in the face of the escalating COVID-19 pandemic. Managing the business of law in a very different way to the norm, whilst at the same time ensuring compliance with SRA regulations, is a difficult, time consuming and resource heavy process.

The Compli team at Weightmans recognises these difficulties and for many years has been providing our clients with flexible outsourced compliance services to help take the strain and provide peace of mind. Already, during this crisis, we have received queries from law firm clients on their business continuity and contingency plans covering a wide range of issues including:

  • Data protection and supervision issues when working from home
  • Client account monies received by cheque/inability to deal with incoming post in the event of total lockdown
  • Court hearings and duties to the court
  • Wet signatures on documents
  • Illness/incapacity of the COLP/other key stakeholders

Unhelpfully, the SRA is not currently giving any substantive practical guidance about steps firms should take either generally or on specific issues, although it has recently issued an update which you can find here.

Whilst the SRA recognises that these are exceptional times, they do expect firms to have contingency plans in place. We strongly recommend, that if you have not done so already, you carry out a specific Covid-19 risk assessment and carefully document any decisions that you make/plans implemented.

In these difficult times, we remain ready and able to help you in a number of ways:

  • Via our helpline to answer any compliance queries/reporting concerns
  • Advice on appropriate contingency plans
  • Should your COLP be unable to fulfil the role through illness, we can advise on the temporary emergency approval process/appropriate replacements
  • Outsourced urgent projects
  • SRA investigations
  • Through our sector specialisms, advice on:
    • Employment/HR issues
    • Contractual and property disputes
    • Banking and finance
    • Professional indemnity/Directors and Officers/other insurance issues
    •  Restructuring, recoveries and insolvency

You can contact us on 0345 070 1047 or email compli@weightmans.com or via your usual Compli contact.

We hope you keep safe and well during these difficult times.

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