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A taster: Legal Compliance Association Articles

The Legal Compliance Association would like to take this opportunity to provide you with six sample articles which have been posted on the LCA members' portal. Please see below to view each article. 

We hope you enjoy reading these. 

Can robots manage compliance?

By Leah Darbyshire, Head of the Legal Compliance Association.

Much of the commentary on the arrival of artificial intelligence into the legal sector has focused on the advent of ‘robot lawyers’, visualised as wearing a suit and tie and physically sitting at desks, carrying out legal work.

So regulatory issues have sprung to mind around the way that legal work is supervised, if automated in this way. I caught up with Crispin Passmore, executive director of the SRA, at ARK’s Legal IT event yesterday, who confirmed that robots will be treated by the regulator in exactly the same way as any other computer or system that is used for legal work.

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Compliance Q&A: 'You are only as safe as your weakest link'

Helen Roche, Reports Content Manager at Ark, interviewed compliance expert Tracey Calvert, Director of Oakalls Consultancy Ltd (pictured), on legal compliance to get her views on the challenges currently facing compliance officers.

Can you explain your background and particular expertise when it comes to law firm compliance?

I am a lawyer myself and I have worked in both private practice and in an in-house role for a local authority. I have also worked for both The Law Society and the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

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Nicole Bigby on new lawyering

Nicole Bigby writes her perspectives on new lawyering. Nicole is Partner and Director of Risk at Berwin Leighton Paisner who manages BLP’s Risk and Compliance function. 

I had a very interesting discussion with Professor David Wilkins of the Harvard Law School Centre on the Legal Profession about their recently published multi-disciplinary perspective on "Lawyers as Professionals and as Citizens: Key Roles and Responsibilities in the 21st Century". 

Ben Heineman (former GC of GE), Bill Lee (former chair of WilmerHale) and Prof. David Wilkins have leveraged their particular areas of professional expertise and articulated:

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How to get a seat on the board…as a legal compliance professional

By Leah Darbyshire, Community Manager, Legal Compliance Association

The reason that a compliance manager aspires to a seat on the board (apart from personal ambition) is usually to win high-level sponsorship for a risk-based approach to legal business, to ensure the right tone from the top that will drive the whole business to comply.

But in order to get there, a broader view is necessary, one which empathises with the perspectives of other business support functions and indeed with the senior fee earning community too.

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The public expects lawyers to behave impeccably

To what extent are the ethical judgements we make in legal compliance based on our own individual moral codes?

By Leah Darbyshire, Community Manager, Legal Compliance Association

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) took the moral temperature of the legal profession at its 3rd annual COLP COFA conference today.

Starting out from a stated perspective of respect for the professions, including the legal one, SRA Chief Executive, Paul Philip, said that it was a question of solicitors working on their public ‘brand’.

Delegates, exceeding 500 in number, and representing law firms of varying sizes from around the country, as COLPs and COFAs, were asked to participate in a live polling session, voting on the level of concern that they would apply to a number of different scenarios around professional conduct.

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Establishing a two-way relationship with your clients

By Leah Darbyshire, Community Manager, Legal Compliance Association

Many compliance professionals in law firms are also practising lawyers. But what can you learn about compliance from your clients?

If your clients are corporate or public sector organisations, they will certainly be facing compliance challenges of their own, which you can be sure will come down the line to your firm in due course, through Outside Counsel Guidelines.

Take, for example, information security... 

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The Panama papers…and the ICA conference

By Leah Darbyshire, head of the Legal Compliance Association

‘Panama’, as a revelation, has got all the political types talking but, clearly, there are links to money laundering and implications for law firm compliance officers. Not least because the SRA has launched a probe into four law firms who had links to tarnished firm Mossack Fonseca and these are firms we have all heard of, not the back street high street practices that the SRA is normally investigating.

Comments made by legal professionals on this story suggest that the issue here is a moral one and that the exercise is only a PR one, in which the SRA will demonstrate its seriousness about such matters. But what we, the LCA, need to understand is how it will impact your day job, as law firm compliance officers.

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