We recently received an enquiry from a solicitor. He questioned whether his firm needed to continue carrying out file reviews, as the process had become cumbersome and time-consuming. The SRA Standards and Regulations do not lay down a specific requirement for firms to carry out file reviews. It must be noted that for any firm looking to obtain Lexcel accreditation, the file review process is a fundamental requirement.
So why, would you ask, would a firm want to carry out file reviews if there no specific requirement to do so?
Outlined below are some key benefits to this process:
- Carrying out regular file reviews is a sign of good risk management, which you could evidence to your insurance broker during the renewal period.
- Although file reviews are not compulsory, the SRA Standards do impose a duty on managers to supervise and manage the provision of legal services. One way that accountability can be achieved is by undertaking regular file reviews.
- Firms will have policies and procedures in place but how can you be sure that these are being followed? Do you have a reactive approach and wait for things to go wrong? Or do you identify and address issues early? Data generated from file reviews could identify some of these issues and give you sufficient time to implement corrective actions.
- File reviews could also identify individual training requirements, issues with time recording and, something that is currently a hot item on the SRA radar, how you onboard your clients for the purposes of money laundering checks.
Still not convinced? Compliance Legal offer a service where we can carry out independent file reviews on an ongoing basis. Get in touch today to see how we can help.