© 2017 by SSB Compliance.

SSB Compliance is a trading name of Simpson Sissons & Brooke LLP.  Simpson Sissons & Brooke LLP, a Limited Liability Partnership registered in England and Wales under company number OC324388. Members: Jeremy Brooke, Jeremy Brooke Ltd, Wesley Bower, Angela Lally, Steven Westwood. Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority Authorisation number 463498. Governed by the laws of England and Wales

SSB Compliance Retainer Service

SSB Compliance will assist you and your team to ensure compliance with the professional rules, cost effective risk management, as well as support in achieving, maintaining and developing Lexcel accreditation for your practice.  SSB Compliance will;

 

  • Conduct an initial regulatory compliance and risk management audit on site;

  • Provide a full written report of the findings, discuss any findings and agree a plan of remedial action;

  • Discuss and draft the following for the practice – Compliance Plan, Risk Register and Practice Area Risk Assessments;

  • Coach and advise on the roles of COLP & COFA – provide working toolkit;

  • Coach, advise on achieving Lexcel accreditation, to best practice and implementation;

  • Provide all supporting documentation and office procedures manual;

  • Updates to Lexcel documentation as required;

  • Provide compliance updates;

  • Provide online access to on line compliance training;

  • Provide a monthly allowance for email / telephone support;

  • Provide by email a monthly digest;

  • As a retained client you will receive beneficial rates for other work delivered by SSB Compliance;

  • Provide access to PII contacts to obtain professional indemnity quotes where requested.

 

SSB Compliance will guide and support you and your team to enable your practice to achieve Lexcel accreditation, plus to help build and sustain more robust regulatory and risk management approach throughout the practice.

You will also be able to demonstrate to both your regulator and your professional indemnity insurer you have the required systems, procedures and culture in place to meet your regulatory obligations.

Incorporations

SSB Compliance will assist you in achieving your conversion to a Limited entity with the minimum of fuss and on time.  We will manage the project from inception to conclusion and ensure we meet any agreed timescales.  SSB Compliance will;

 

  • Conduct an initial meeting to discuss your requirements and agree a plan, timescale and fixed fee (obtain letter of authority);

  • Check your choice of entity name is available and permission given if required;

  • Provide support in obtaining suitable PII quotes (if required);

  • Complete the relevant SRA application(s) and compile all supporting documents;

  • Liaise with the SRA throughout the process in order to conclude the matter within agreed timescales;

  • Provide post authorisation documents to assist with notifying your staff, clients, suppliers etc.

  • Provide website terms of business and regulatory information

 
 
New Firm Set Up

SSB Compliance will guide, coach and advise you through the whole project to achieve your goal of applying to become a new firm entity.

 

We have completed numerous new start-up firms over the years and all have been successfully approved by the SRA, without exception.

SSB Compliance will;

 

  • Conduct an initial meeting to discuss your requirements and agree a plan, timescale and fixed fee (letter of authority);

  • Check your choice of entity name is available and permission given if required;

  • Provide support in obtaining suitable PII quotes (if required);

  • Complete the relevant SRA application(s) and compile all supporting documents;

  • Deliver COLP & COFA training, Common Accounts Rules Pitfalls training face to face;

  • Provide contact for Management stage 2 training( if required);

  • Liaise with the SRA throughout the process in order to conclude the matter within agreed timescales;

  • Provide a full office procedures manual to current Lexcel standard with all supporting policies etc. (Subject to scope of retainer);

  • Provide template client care letters, terms of business etc.

  • Provide website terms of business and regulatory information;

  • Provide on-going support up to 12 months from commencing project (subject to retainer);

 
ABS Applications

​SSB Compliance will;

  • Conduct an initial meeting to discuss your requirements and agree a plan, timescale and fixed fee (letter of authority);

  • Check your choice of entity name is available and permission given if required;

  • Provide support in obtaining suitable PII quotes (if required);

  • Complete the relevant SRA application(s) and compile all supporting documents;

  • Deliver COLP & COFA training, Common Accounts Rules Pitfalls training face to face;

  • Provide contact for Management stage 2 training( if required);

  • Liaise with the SRA throughout the process in order to conclude the matter within agreed timescales;

  • Provide a full office procedures manual to current Lexcel standard with all supporting policies etc. (Subject to scope of retainer);

  • Provide template client care letters, terms of business etc.

  • Provide website terms of business and regulatory information;

  • Provide on-going support up to 12 months from commencing project (subject to retainer);

 
Accreditations

Lexcel Accreditation Support:

 

SSB Compliance has many years’ experience and knowledge within its team to ensure a smooth path for practices to achieving Lexcel accreditation. SSB’s advisers will guide, coach and navigate you through the entire process with the minimum of fuss. We will with our expertise and experience make the journey an experience of learning and appreciation. Our advisers will also compile, draft and help implement all the required plans, policies and procedures needed to achieve Lexcel accreditation at the first attempt. Your practice will benefit from a structured framework of risk management procedures to help develop a consistent approach across the practice in delivery of services to your clients. It will help deliver a better experience to your clients and potentially over time increase client retention and new business. Once you have embraced the Lexcel experience, we have learnt from numerous other practices you will feel confident and in control of your business meeting the challenges going forward. Make the call and achieve your goal.

 

Legal Aid Firms – Lexcel is an accepted quality standard instead of obtaining the SQM (Specialist Quality Mark).

 

CQS Accreditation Support:

 

Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) is the Law Society’s quality standard for residential conveyancing practices.

Membership of the CQS is a pre requisite to obtaining panel membership in the majority of cases. It will assist your practice in securing core practice management standards, it will also help establish a level of credibility with lenders, insurers and clients. The Conveyancing Quality Scheme is also designed to assist in deterring fraud, improve competence, client service and raise standards within legal practices. SSB compliance assists in making the process of gaining membership of the Law Society’s CQS as straight forward and as simple as possible, to ensure your practice competence, excellence are recognised.

Helped practices achieve CQS since 2011.

 

SSB Compliance will assist you with the application in the following ways:

 

  • Completion of the application form

  • Arranging and organising the compiling of the personnel forms and obtaining relevant staff ID

  • Compiling all required supporting documents

  • Providing all the required policies and procedures to meet the standard

  • Coaching, Advising and Supporting you through the whole process

  • Answering any questions or queries received from the CQS team

WIQS Accreditation Support:

 

SSB Compliance can assist you and your practice to achieve the Wills and Inheritence Quality Scheme (WIQS).

The wills and inheritence scheme provides pratices with a quality standard for Wills, Probate and Estate administration. SSB Compliance will guide, coach and advise you through the application process and supply the relenvant documentation in order to submitt an application for the standard. 

 
Compliance Health Check Audit

SSB Compliance will undertake an audit of your current compliance provision and deliver a report on the findings made on site. Our advisers have many years’ experience and expertise in conducting such tasks.

Our detailed regulatory compliance health check reports, based on a comprehensive on-site audit, have received some positive feedback and in certain circumstances could be made available to your indemnity insurers, mortgage lenders and others to potentially improve your risk profile or perception of such. The regulatory compliance heath check audit, carried out by SSB Compliance advisers with appropriate experience and expertise, is intended to give you peace of mind and provide simple solutions to eliminate risks. Competitively priced, it represents good value for money, saving  in potential penalties and time-consuming SRA investigations.

 

Areas to review:

  • Select a number of file(s) for each fee earner;

  • Register of Complaints;

  • Client Care Letters, Terms of Business; Costs information etc.

  • Recommendation agreements, referral arrangements, etc.;

  • Website review, including letterheads and email footers;

  • Review of policies and procedures, i.e. Complaints policy, AML policy, Equality & Diversity policy, etc.

  • Check current Compliance plan, Risk Register, etc. are up to date.

 

On concluding the process, you will be in a better position to evidence your regulatory compliance position to parties of your choosing which may help you with professional indemnity insurers and lender panels.

 
COLP/COFA Monitoring

Outcome 7.3 of the SRA Code of Conduct requires you to have an approach in place to “identify, monitor and manage risks to compliance with all the Principles, rules and outcomes and other requirements of the Handbook”.

Our compliance monitoring service helps you to fulfil this outcome by assisting you with the identification of any weaknesses in your compliance arrangements. Undertaken by a former SRA Practice Standards Adviser, the monitoring service will provide you with a clear indication of how robust your current approaches are and will provide you with recommendations for further improvements.

The COLP monitoring service will include a review of the following areas:

  • Basic SRA reporting requirements and other required registrations

  • Approach to securing PII

  • Compliance with Rule 12 of the Practice Framework Rules

  • Checking precedent client care letters and terms of business

  • Check that costs information is accurate and updated accordingly

  • Check that the commissions policy is complied with

  • Check basic compliance with the SRA Financial Services (Conduct of Business) Rules 2001

  • Confirm complaints handling procedure is compliant and operational

  • Assess the approach to  Equality and Diversity

  • Check the approach to other key aspects of the Code of Conduct, including conflicts of interests, confidentiality and disclosure and Publicity

  • Check the approach to fee sharing and referral arrangements

  • Check compliance with respect to any separate business interests

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The COFA monitoring service although not designed to replace the annual accountant’s report will include a review of the following:

  • Check the approach to the production of the client account reconciliation

  • File & ledger checks of postings to the client ledger accounts from the records of receipts and payments of client money

  • Compare a sample of transactions in/out of client account as they appear on bank/building society statements with paying in records and cheques

  • Check posting of office receipts and payments to ledger and file by reference to the office account bank statement

  • Check the office account reconciliation

  • Further sample checks to assess:

    • Evidence of any excess payments to clients

    • Evidence of client money paid into office

    • Confirm that payment of interest policy is being applied properly

    • Check ledger postings in order (chronological and details easily identifiable)

    • Check the approach towards unpaid residual client ledger balances

    • Confirm that banking facilities are not being provided to clients

    • Check for appropriate use of suspense accounts

    • Check statements and passbooks for all accounts complete, properly designated and retained securely

    • Check that no inappropriate round sum transfers have been authorised

 
Training

SSB Compliance is able to offer comprehensive access to an extensive range of training courses, webinars and specific practice area training requirements. This service is available to both retained clients and our project clients who may require one off training needs etc.

The training is provided through our associated specialist provider and the training is substantially discounted for SSB Compliance clients, whether retained or one off project matters. The training courses are frequently updated to keep up to date and relevant throughout the year.

The benefits are that you have full notes available, are able to obtain instant access, available out of hours (24hrs), also with 12 months access. Training that suits legal professionals of all levels, plus a dedicated support team ready to assist you where necessary.

We are able to offer training packages for a full  range of areas and in specific bundles for every size of practice.

 
Document Updates

SSB Compliance can provide document updates across all your policies and procedures, to ensure they meet current requirements.  The most popular updates we have delivered to date are as follows:

 

  • Client Care Letters;

  • Terms of Business;

  • Recommendation agreements, Referral agreements etc.

  • Complaints Policy and Procedures;

  • Anti – Money Laundering Policy and Procedures;

  • Website Terms of Use;

  • Compliance plan, Risk Register and Practice area Risk assessment docs;

  • Office Procedures Manual;

  • File opening / closing forms;

 

The above is not exhaustive so please ask if you require other document / policy updates.

 
SRA Investigations

SSB Compliance can assist you with matters relating to any potential investigation into you or your practice by the SRA. We are able to provide valuable support with regards to giving you the right advice, guidance on your rights and the way the SRA conducts such matters.

If you are informed of an investigation by the SRA you must take immediate advice as to how this may potentially affect you and potentially your practice. It is highly likely that an SRA investigation can have a potential adverse effect to both your reputation and financial position. It may also affect your ability to obtain a sustainable quote for PII cover, renew or gain accreditations etc. in certain circumstances. Our intentions are to try and bring the matter to a swift and satisfactory conclusion for all concerned.

PII Renewals

SSB Compliance delivers risk management support to a number of legal practices of varying size and practice areas to enable them to improve their standing with the SRA, Professional Indemnity providers, mortgage lenders, banks, investors, the LSC and other large institutions and public sector bodies.

We have over the years gained valuable insight into the provision of professional indemnity for legal practices and through trusted contacts we are able to bring these to the attention of legal practices who wish to seek an offer of professional indemnity cover. We are very much involved with professional indemnity insurers throughout the year due to assisting with new practice set ups, Incorporations (Change of Entity)  and Alternative Business Structures (ABS) matters.