Solicitors have joined the “real” world and instead of being focused on rules-based approach to regulation to what the UK is more familiar with which is outcomes focused aimed to support quality outcomes for clients.
Risk based regulation which allows legal firms to tailor services to the particular needs of clients.
The new requirement, embodied in the new Code of Conduct within the Handbook, requires a risk-based approach to regulatory compliance and aimed at high-level outcomes governing practice, the quality of that outcome to the client and increased emphasis on business management.
It has brought in the concept of Indicative Behaviours to guide firms to achieving outcomes.
This whole concept is confusing for solicitors who are more familiar with clarity of one way or another, whereas outcomes style regulation is very different.
An overview on the Law Society website will help guide firms.
The Principles of the Code are:-
- uphold the rule of law and the proper administration of justice;
- act with integrity;
- not allow your independence to be compromised;
- act in the best interests of each client;
- provide a proper standard of service to your clients;
- behave in a way that maintains the trust the public places in you and in the provision of legal services;
- comply with your legal and regulatory obligations and deal with your regulators and ombudsmen in an open, timely and co-operative manner;
- run your business or carry out your role in the business effectively and in accordance with proper governance and sound financial and risk management principles;
- run your business or carry out your role in the business in a way that encourages equality of opportunity and respect for diversity; and
- protect client money and assets.