The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) recently published its annual Risk Outlook paper on what aspects of the profession need to be addressed over the coming year, Legal-Eye reports. At King Court Trust we are always interested in what elements of the profession the SRA believe need to be looked at and what they believe could become a potential problem in the near future.
The SRA notes that their annual report helps solicitor firms make plans for the year ahead based on the findings. The risks listed include money laundering, the misuse of assets, financial difficulty, a lack of diversity within the profession, and the inability to provide a consistently high quality of service from firms, among others.
The misuse of money was listed as an issue due to the increasing number of related reports in 2013. As a growing trend, the SRA has highlighted it because it involves the assets and money of clients – a top priority for all firms.
Fake firms were also listed as a potential risk for the future as the number of bogus firms in operation has been steadily rising. Fake firms are usually made up of criminals posing as genuine solicitor firms in a bid to steal money from individuals looking for legal advice. Some take on the identity of already existing and legitimate firms, so the authority recommends all firms be aware of this scam, as it can cause damage to their reputation.
Certain firms running into financial difficulty was the final point to be listed by the SRA. Firms that experience difficulty can cause problems for the public as disorderly firm closures often affect the interests of consumers. Disorderly firm closures often indicate either money laundering, a misuse of assets or a generally poor quality of service.
We always take note of the risks outlined in the SRA's annual outlook. Do you think the above mentioned points are valid?