Supervising Remotely

Effective supervision has always been important from a risk management perspective but never more so than now, with many staff working remotely, some for the first time and having to grapple with new technology and processes. As it is a requirement of the SRA Code of Conduct for firms to have in place an effective system for supervising client matters, most firms will already have policies and processes in place. However, these processes will need to be reviewed to ensure that they are still workable and effective in light of the remote working and different hours that some staff may be working to fit in around childcare and home schooling. When reviewing supervision processes consideration

What is a Politically Exposed Person (PEP) and how do I know if my client is one?!

With the SRA expecting solicitors and firms to continue to meet the high standards the public expect (which includes upholding the rule of law), it is important to ensure that all staff are aware of their obligations when onboarding clients and, with most staff currently working remotely, now is a good time to remind them. On a number of occasions, I have seen panic set in as soon as someone sees the words “match” for their client on a PEP screening request. But there’s no need to panic! Just because someone is classified as a PEP does not necessarily mean they are a “baddie”! So, what is a PEP and why are they considered high risk? A PEP is a person who is or, within the last year, has been

Coronavirus and obtaining Certified Client Identification Documents

One of our most popular questions since the outbreak of the coronavirus has been “what can we do if we can’t get certified client identification documents?”. This is a bit of a tricky one to explain so, firstly, let’s go back to basics and remember what it is we are trying to achieve. One purpose of Client Due Diligence (CDD) is to know that the person you are acting for is the person they say they are, and anyone who has been on our AML training session will know that it is also so that the Police have a door to knock on and a picture to circulate to identify them (if it turns out a client is a “baddie”). Basically, you want to know that your client is a real person and you can track them d

The SRA Transparency Rules – Is your website compliant?

As most of you will (or should) be aware, the SRA Transparency Rules (the Rules) came into force back in December 2018 requiring firms to publish price and service information if they publish that they work in the following areas: Residential conveyancing; Probate (uncontested); Motoring offences (summary offences); Immigration (excluding asylum); Employment tribunals (unfair/wrongful dismissal); Debt recovery (up to £100,000); Licensing applications (business premises); If your firm doesn’t have a website, you must still have this information available upon request in other formats. The Rules also require all firms to publish details of their complaints procedure on their website, including

Coronavirus and Data Protection - Tips for employers

1. Measures introduced to combat the virus and Privacy Implications When you are introducing measures for staff, clients and other third parties, you need to take care that you do not breach data protection laws when doing so. For example, if you are informed that a member of staff or his family has visited a region with confirmed cases and that they have or may contract the virus, you will be collecting personal data relating to those individuals as part of this process which will undoubtedly include health data. Things to think about: Collecting health data from staff and clients A key issue will be for you to consider whether you have a lawful basis for collecting health data from staff

Who should certify Client Identification Documents and what should they check?

Some of the certifications I have seen on client identification documents, that Fee Earners have uploaded as part of their client due diligence checks, have led me to raise an eyebrow. One of my favourites was a document certified by someone whose occupation was detailed as “Retired”! Having worked in Risk and Compliance for over 7 years, a question I would regularly hear was “who can certify my client’s identification documents?”. Firms will have different policies and procedures in respect of this. However, it is worth considering the following points when deciding whether you are happy to accept the certification on a document: Is the person certifying the documents a professional person

Are you ready for the Coronavirus?

As the number of Coronavirus cases in the UK continues to grow each day, whilst we hope its growth can be contained, we all need to be considering the possible impact of the virus on our businesses and planning for all eventualities. Many businesses may already have considered the impact of some illness on their business operations, but their plans may not cover this new threat. We are now in uncharted territory and the level of disruption that could happen may be on a scale that we have not seen before, with the possibility of major events being cancelled, large numbers of schools closing and public transport affected. However, there are a number of steps that you can take now, so that you

Data Protection Officers under GDPR

Do you need one? At Teal, one of the questions we often get asked is whether or not an organisation needs a Data Protection Officer (DPO). Under the GDPR, it’s mandatory for some organisations to appoint a person to act as their DPO - others may choose to either appoint a DPO on a voluntary basis or decide that one is not required for the purpose of the Regulations and instead, they’ll just appoint someone to deal with data protection matters. In each case, your business will need to consider who this person should be, what their duties will be and what your business’s obligations are in relation to this person. The WP29 guidance (the WP29 was an advisory body made up of representatives fro

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