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Cyber Security Hub
Understand how cyber security affects law firms and how you can take action to stay ahead of the competition, comply with the latest in regulations and protect the data and wellbeing of your clients.
Where In The UK Are Homeowners Being Squeezed The Most By Interest Rates?
Just a few years ago, interest rates of above 5% would have been unimaginable to many people. As recently as December 2021, the average two-year fixed deal was just 2.34%. Now rates have jumped to 5.25% – the highest they’ve been since February 2008 – causing alarm for millions of homeowners coming to the end of their fixed rate deals.
Ultimate Guide to Cyber Security for Law Firms
In today's world, cybercrime poses a threat to all businesses, but it's something that law firms need to pay extra attention to.
As a law firm, your client data can be exploited for identity theft, financial loss, or compromising freedom, making you powerful yet vulnerable. Taking proactive steps is crucial for protection.
The Conveyancing Landscape Report – data trends analysis and industry expert insight
We’ve created two data insight reports which cover the conveyancing market trends before the pandemic and during (2022 Report) and the trends seen since (2023 Report) before considering the factors impacting the conveyancing marketing in the future.
Download our free CQS Guide
CQS is a must-have for any SRA-regulated conveyancers. Without it firms face much greater difficulties in being added to lender panels and face much higher PII premiums, making the cost of practice extremely prohibitive.
In this Guide, we offer practical advice on various areas of CQS that you could implement not only to ensure compliance with the Core Practice Management Standards, but also to enhance your business practices.
Compliance Update Webinar March 2023
This webinar hosted by Brian Rogers covers the latest legal compliance news for March 2023, including:
- LeO Scheme Rule changes (coming in on 1 April 2023)
- FATF Update
- Data Privacy
- Sanctions Update
- SRA view on ID documents
- Crypto fee payments
Access All Areas - Legal Insight
Access All Areas, our annual knowledge-sharing summit, was a great success with 30+ expert speakers delivering 19 insightful and engaging, CPD accredited sessions.
Cloud strategies for law firms
Law firms have, to some degree, been adopting cloud-based technologies over the years as their business needs to be changed.
They’ve migrated software, email and other key servers from on-premise to the cloud, and are now reaping the rewards of improved functionality, efficiency and user experience.
Anti-Money Laundering Guidance for Law Firms
For lawyers and solicitors dealing with anti-money laundering (AML), this guide provides expert, practical guidance on how to ensure your law firm is following AML obligations and managing risk well.
Connect your data and differentiate your law firm
Our latest insight paper we look at why data is essential for informing your business development and marketing strategies, how is can be used to maximise your fee-earners’ potential and how you can get the most out of it to help differentiate your firm from the competition.
What can law firms learn from consumer-centric sectors?
Law firms can learn a lot from the experiences of consumer-centric sectors, who have been there already and successfully changed their business models. For this new paper, we gathered a number of experts who understand the size of the challenge having been at the forefront of this shift in consumer behaviour first-hand.
A guide to CQS accreditation for law firms
As the only authorised CQS Training provider outside of the Law Society, and a market-leading supplier of software for law firms, including conveyancers, Access Legal has a lot of experience when it comes to CQS accreditation and best practice for law firms.
The changing Wills and Probate law landscape
In this session, we reflected on the trends seen in the Wills and Probate area of the sector, consider what they mean for the law firms moving forward and what role technology will play. 88% of attendees surveyed found the session to be very useful.
The Family Law landscape
In this webinar, we reflect on the trends seen in the Family Law area of the sector, consider what they mean for the law firms moving forward and what role technology will plays including how we have been helping our customers.
Cyber security for law firms: everything you need to know for 2022
Cyber security is more important to law firms than ever right now. Read our article to find out the key lessons law firms can learn from the cyber security mistakes of others in the legal profession, tips for law firms to ensure their cyber security for homeworkers is solid, questions law firms should ask prospective new suppliers of software, and steps to make cyber security a key part of a healthy 'no-blame' culture.
Let’s Talk Data Webinar
Lauren Colbeck discusses data use in law firms with Joanna Kingston-Davies of MAPD Group and Nigel Stott of Baskerville Drummond.
Oosha Webinar - How are law firms preparing for a hybrid way of working
In this webinar, Oosha MD Matt Newton is joined by Joanna Kingston-Davies, Group COO at The MAPD Group and legal IT strategist, Derek Southall to take an exclusive look athow law firms are preparing for the return to work.
Explore our Legal Compliance Webinar hub
We’ve developed a number of webinars for the legal industry brought together by the expertise of Riliance and Socrates. Each webinar covers pertinent and topical issues that we know legal firms are faced with. All webinars are led by our Regulatory Director for Digital Learning and Compliance, Brian Rogers, and offer practical guidance and insight as well as question and answer sections at the end relating to the topics discussed.
The changing employment law landscape and how technology can help firms to adapt
We look at the trends and factors affecting the sector, the challenges these are creating and the approaches firms can take to meet new demands whilst also preparing for the future.
Managing your team remotely
See how you can manage your team while working working remotely, keeping track of workloads and performance.
Legal Unlimited: Unlocking Your People Power
Exploring the transformative power of a technology-led people strategy, drawing on the expert opinion from the legal, HR and tech worlds and practical steps to help firms achieve commercial success.
AML Update Webinar - July
Brian Rogers and Bill Jones discuss preparing for an SRA AML audit, how to deals with SARs, the three money laundering offences you could commit and how to avoid tipping off.
July Compliance Update Webinar
Brian Rogers discusses the SRA Diversity Survey, SRA enforcement of AML breaches, settling LeO Complaints, comparison websites, scam alerts and more.
June Compliance Update Webinar
Brian Rogers discusses the UK National Strategic Assessment of Serious & Organised Crime, cryptocurrencies, professional indemnity insurance renewals, whether we’re heading for another property crash, comparison websites and more.
The Wills & Probate landscape - Trends, impacts and how tech can help
In this webinar, we reflect on the trends seen in the Wills and Probate area of the sector, consider what they mean for the law firms moving forward and what role technology will play.
May Compliance Update Webinar
Catch up with the latest legal compliance news for May 21 including the SRA Standards and Regulations Review, SRA Diversity Survey and competency.
April Compliance Update Webinar
Catch up with the latest legal compliance news for April 21 including the SRA thematic review into the roles of the MLRO and MLCO, plagiarism of other firms' content and the impact of comparison sites on the legal sector.
March Compliance Update Webinar
Catch up with the latest legal compliance news for March 21 including the SRA thematic review Anti-Money Laundering, competence and transparency.
See Brian Rogers and Financial Crime Expert, Bill Jones, discuss Anti-Money Laundering in law firms and what firms should do to protect themselves.
Automate ID Checking and AML for Clients
See what firms should do to undertake client due diligence and meet AML obligations while working from home.
Cyber Resilience for Law Firms
See our panel of experts discuss the impact of cybercrime on law firms and how firms can protect themselves.
Complying with SRA Price Transparency Rules
See what you need to do to meet SRA Price Transparency Rules.
Legal Unlimited: The Low Down On Learning For Law Firms
Discover how you can leverage training for growth.
Access Legal software: How we can help law firms
Whether you’re looking for case management, practice management, accounts, compliance, learning, CRM or even payments software find out how Access Legal can help free up your firm to focus on your clients and people to drive profitability and growth
How Covid-19 Has Affected Legal Business
See how different practices have been affected and who has fared best with the lockdown.
Access Legal | Helping law firms rethink their operations
Access Legal can help ambitious law firms rethink their operations by providing the freedom to focus on both clients and staff to drive profitability. With one complete suite of software solutions, law firms can break down silos, empower remote teams, improve collaboration and efficiency - helping firms work discover their unlimited potential.
Is it time your law firm moved to the cloud?
Whilst your practice may be operating remotely are your fee earners able to access your case management software remotely? And is your practice completely secure? Right now Access Legal is helping many of its legal clients move to their on-premise case management software to the cloud. Is it time you made the move?
Whatever legal case management software your firms needs. we've got your covered
Whether your firm needs browser-based, hosted or on-premise practice management software we can help.
Eight top Legal sessions you shouldn't miss at Access All Areas 2021
Access All Areas is The Access Group’s bi-annual knowledge-sharing summit bringing 4,500 professionals together across the Access organisation, and this time, it’s 100% virtual.
The Access Legal team will be showcasing an exciting agenda of thought-provoking, insightful, and discussion-led expert sessions - and it’s free. Read more about what’s coming up in the 8 must-see sessions below.
Equality And Diversity Obligations Vs GDPR
To ensure firms comply with this mandatory principle, the SRA imposes a requirement on all regulated firms to collect, report and publish data on the diversity of their workforce. However, the SRA has failed to provide guidance on how to tackle this requirement whilst navigating the hot topic of the impending general data protection regulations (GDPR).
Your Accounts Department Safe
Your accounts department is the one at greatest risk from fraud and theft, and it will be its activities that are the most targeted by criminals, whether it is to launder money, divert client money by intercepting emails, accounts fraud, or to obtain money from office account via scams like CEO fraud or false invoicing.
Comparison Websites – Friend Or Foe
Three regulators (SRA, CLC and CILEX Regulation) recently announced that they were to pilot the use of comparison websites to see how both law firms and comparison website providers could engage more with them going forward; this follows shortly after a law firm was awarded damages of £25,000 after a client posted defamatory comments on Trust Pilot.
Can You Rely On Post Office Certified Documents?
The Post Office provides a service whereby it will certify that copies of a passport etc are true copies of the original. The customer can then send off the certified copy to a firm which is doing AML checks, so as to verify their identity. But we have discovered that Post Office counter staff are happy to issue certified copies even though the person presenting the documents for checking is not the person named in them.
Top 10 Questions To Ask When Selecting Your Hosting Partner
Choosing a hosting partner is one of the most important decisions your firm will make this year. A good solution with the right hosting partner will enable your practice to increase efficiencies, save on costs, scale more easily and enable your staff to work remotely - keeping them safe at this difficult time.
8 Ways To Mitigate Negligence Claim Risks For CQS Firms
As a consequence of the government’s stamp duty holiday and pent-up property activity from the Covid-19 lockdown, the conveyancing market has seen a massive increase in the number of transactions taking place in the last few months. However, the rise in demand also comes with increased risks for those handling them.
CQS-accredited firms must ensure that they comply at all times with the CQS scheme rules and CQS protocol, otherwise they are at risk of negligence claims being made by clients.
CQS – The New Core Practice Management Standards
CQS published three-core values in November 2018 and the new Core Practice Management Standards (The Standards) on 6th February 2019, overall the essence of The Standards is the same but there have been some changes to policies, procedures and practices which will affect CQS firms.
Compliance Cultures In Financial Institutions: Are whistleblowing cases on the rise?
Following our earlier blog on the FinCEN files, it seems appropriate for our next blog to look at the compliance culture within financial institutions, where some have the view that turning a blind eye to criminal activity – namely money laundering – is an acceptable risk where the profit far outweighs the penalties.
A-Z Law Firm Compliance: Top Tips And Practical Advice
Now that many people are working from home and away from the direct gaze of their supervisors, we thought we would provide you with a guide that can be distributed to your staff to remind them of their compliance obligations.
Could Recruitment Agencies Become Employment Law Advisors?
Covid-19 has created all sorts of problems for employees, and some of these are likely to lead to some form of litigation against their ex-employers in the future.
With so many employees having lost their jobs, or at risk of losing them once the furlough scheme comes to an end, recruitment agencies will be faced with many candidates not only looking for a new job, but also advice on how they can seek recompense from their previous employers for various actual or perceived breaches of employment law and other legislation.
SRA Price Transparency Compliance Unacceptably Low
The Solicitors Regulation Authority has recently found that compliance with its Transparency Rules remains unacceptably low and has been using its enforcement powers to punish non-compliant firms; in January 2021 alone nine firms were either rebuked or fined for not complying with their obligations.
Legal Jargon Busting
Do you know what PEP, PWRA, BOOM, PCP, RBA, DAML and CDD mean?
If you are involved in anti-money laundering activity within your firm the likelihood is that you will know what these acronyms mean, however, this cannot be taken for granted as some AML practitioners are more advanced in this area than others. It may also be that someone is unfamiliar in this area as it is not part of their day-to-day activities.
Latest Legal Compliance Updates
The Access Group provides the latest legal compliance news.
Staying One Step Ahead - How Will Legal Firms Work From The Office In The Future?
Working from home. It’s all anyone ever talks about now. You can’t visit a website without seeing remote working advice - and with good reason.
But what about those that don’t want to work at home and miss the office? The buzz, the camaraderie, the motivation. Where’s the advice for those that want to get back to the office?
Frequent CQS Non-Compliances – Could You Be Caught Out?
We recently submitted a Freedom of Information request to the Law Society in relation to compliance with its Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS), and the response will be of particular interest to firms holding this accreditation.
UK Scales Back DAC6 Regime for New Year
Notwithstanding Brexit, the UK initially implemented the EU’s sixth Directive on Administrative Cooperation (“DAC 6”) in full through the International Tax Enforcement (Disclosable Arrangements) Regulations 2020 (“Regulations”) which came into force on 1 July 2020. However, on 30 December 2020, the government laid before the House of Commons an amendment to the Regulations which drastically limited the UK’s implementation of DAC 6 and took effect the following day.
Prepare Your People, Protect Your Data, Preserve Your Law Firm Reputation
The professional reputation of any law firm plays a critical role in their continued success. A strong reputation attracts people, clients and long-term relationships. But reputations can be fragile. As Warren Buffett said: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it.” With law firms handling the most sensitive, and therefore often most valuable, data and information on behalf of clients they continue to be one of the biggest targets for cyber criminals.
Looking At The STaRs - Are You Ready For The SRA’s Thematic Review
The 25th November saw the first anniversary of the implementation of the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s Standards and Regulations (STaRs), and although most anniversaries are normally celebrated I am not sure this will be the case here, especially as it marks the start of thematic reviews into how the STaRs are working and being operated by firms!
So, what can you expect in relation to the reviews?
MLRO & MLCO Thematic Review
According to the Solicitors Regulation Authority early 2021 we will see the start of a thematic review into the roles of the Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO) and the Money Laundering Compliance Officer (MLCO); this review is in addition to the current rolling thematic review of general anti-money laundering compliance within law firms.
So, what are these two important roles?
7 Top Tips To Help Law Firms Work Remotely And Be More Efficient, Secure And Compliant
Working from home used to be a luxury - a benefit employers offered to staff to demonstrate they cared about their staff’s wellbeing, work life balance and acknowledged the pressures that surround us all outside of the office.
With this as a necessity today, firms are quickly learning how to ensure this is a sustainable reality for their staff, whilst ensuring they are set up to work as efficiently, securely, and compliantly as possible.
Big Movers: The UK Locations Paying The Most On Stamp Duty Since Its Return
The promise of saving thousands of pounds on their property purchase sent home buyers clamouring to compete before the government’s Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) came to an end last September. Our latest insight piece has a deeper look at the impact.
Guide to CQS Compliance Webinar
- Time: 12:30 PM
- Day: Monday 20th March
- Presenters: Ryan Sparrow and Rhiannon Davies
In this webinar, Rhiannon Davies, Senior Risk and Compliance Associate at Access Legal will be discussing some of the issues and themes regularly found when helping clients to gain CQS accreditation.
Rhiannon and our team of risk and compliance professionals have been helping conveyancing firms to gain CQS accreditation and reaccreditation for a number of years and have drawn on that experience to provide you with practical guidance on what potential issues you may face when it comes to CQS accreditation.
The Conveyancing Market Analysis Webinar
- Time: 2:00 PM
- Day: Thursday 23rd March
- Presenters: Toby Sewell and Richard Hinton
In this webinar, Richard Hinton from Pitsford Consulting will discuss our findings from a review of 2022 UK conveyancing transaction data. Richard will look at trends in the sector, which firms have performed best in 2022 and where conveyancers might find opportunities in the market throughout 2023.
Cyber Security for Conveyancers Webinar
- Time: 12:30 PM
- Day: Tuesday 21st March
- Presenters: Chris Morris and Harry Fallows
Conveyancers handle millions of pounds of client money each year. As such, they are a major target for cyber criminals, who can leverage cyber attacks to defraud your unsuspecting clients into transferring thousands of pounds into a criminal’s bank account, hold your data to ransom, or even gain access to important confidential data.
There are a number of ways you can defend your law firm against cyber-attacks, including having the right training and having a robust infrastructure that protects you against cyber-attacks. In this webinar, Chris Morris and Harry Fallows will talk you through some of the ways you can protect your firm against criminals looking to take advantage of you.
AML Case Study Webinar - How one firm could have avoided a £20k fine
- Time: 12:30 PM
- Day: Wednesday 22nd March
- Presenters: Ryan Sparrow and Brian Rogers
Earlier this year, small Oxfordshire-based firm, Ferguson Bracknell were fined £20,000 for a number of Anti-Money Laundering failings. Although the SRA accepted that there was no harm done to any clients, there was a risk that money laundering could have taken place due to the failings and so the firm received the record fine.
In this webinar, Brian Rogers looks at what the firm did wrong and what they should have done, giving you practical advice on what you need to have in place to make sure that the next time the SRA exercise their new powers, you aren’t on the end of it.
CLC vs SRA Regulation Webinar
- Time: 12:30 PM
- Day: Thursday 23rd March
- Presenters: Ryan Sparrow and Laura Wilkes
With the Council for Licensed Conveyancers vying for law firms to make the decision to be regulated by the CLC, many firms may be wondering ‘what’s the difference?’
And so, in this webinar, Laura Wilkes, one of our Risk and Compliance Associates who has years of experienced helping both SRA and CLC regulated conveyancing firms with compliance will talk through the differences between the two and in what circumstances would one be more favourable than the other.