Solicitor’s Office Manual

Solicitors Office Manual for law firms

Our ever popular law firm office manual covers SRA risk and compliance, anti-money laundering, GDPR, cyber security and much more.

Solicitors Office Manual for sole practitioners

This edition of our incredibly popular manual continues to address SRA, anti-money laundering and GDPR risks but is tailored specifically for sole practitioners.

Our template law firm office manual is perfect for ensuring that you meet your Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) obligations to put effective risk and compliance systems in place in your firm. It can be especially useful if you are just setting up a new legal practice or need to start afresh with an up to date set of policies and procedures. Our comprehensive editable template policies, procedures and logs provide a cost effective toolkit for achieving firm-wide compliance with SRA rules, anti-money laundering procedures and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Spanning over 120 pages of A4 and over 50,000 words, this manual covers a breadth of topics that you won’t find in many other toolkits of this kind. You can view the full index for the manual and sample some of the content below. Downloads available immediately upon purchase. No subscription necessary. Now updated for the new SRA Standards and Regulations 2019 which are due to come into force on 25 November 2019.

Why choose our office manual?

10+ years of expertise

Our manuals have been drafted by drawing on years of SRA compliance expertise including by former SRA staff

Concise drafting

Clients love that we cut to the chase in our policies and procedures. See a sample of our glowing testimonials below

Tried and tested

Our templates have been used by countless law firms to secure SRA authorisation and even pass SRA onsite inspections

“The template was amazing. Really, really easy to use and well drafted.”

“The template risk and compliance documentation assisted us with our firm based authorisation process as it was invaluable in ensuring we had a risk and compliance framework to ensure compliance with the SRAs requirements.”

Jo Adams, Otium Legal

What’s inside the office manual?

We intentionally separate out this part of our manual from the staff standards because we find that most staff do not need to review certain risk assessments and structure charts day-to-day. In this section of the manual we include the following policies and procedures: 

  1. Governance
  2. Risk management
  3. Quality and risk assurance
  4. Compliance officer roles
  5. Financial management
  6. Management team terms of reference
  7. Business continuity plan
  8. Local file review form
  9. Central file review form
  10. Anti-money laundering risk assessment
  11. Data protection and cyber security policy

This is the part of the manual dedicated to clearly setting out what the solicitor’s firm expects of colleagues in any given area. In this section of the manual we include the following policies and procedures:

 

  1. Our ethical values
  2. Information we need from our staff
  3. New client instructions
  4. Confidentiality and data protection
  5. Service standards
  6. Undertakings
  7. Publicity
  8. Working with third parties
  9. Client complaints and claims against us
  10. Reserved legal activities and financial services
  11. Ceasing to act for the client, matter closures and gifts
  12. Learning and development
  13. Accounting procedures
  14. Litigation, advocacy and our duties to the Court
  15. Equality and Inclusion policy
  16. Client feedback and complaints
  17. Conflicts of Interest policy
  18. Working with other businesses and outsourcing
  19. Procurement and Bribery Act policy
  20. Sharing concerns policy (whistleblowing)
  21. Acceptable use policy
  22. Anti-money laundering procedures and forms
  23. Rule breach notification form

Depending upon which document pack you select you can also access the following additional templates and guidance:

  • client care letter and terms of business toolkit;
  • GDPR toolkit;
  • SRA price transparency toolkit.

Client care letter and terms of business toolkit

Our template client care information sheet has been drafted so as to reflect recent SRA guidance on simplifying client care letters and the template fits on just one page. The terms of business however include much more detail including provisions on client responsibilities, calculating charges, billing, a payment of interest policy, information on the protections available to clients (as required by the SRA), a privacy policy, a complaints policy and anti-money laundering information. It also includes guidance on how to tailor the documentation and sample wording for compliance with the Consumers Contracts Regulations 2013 for firms who visit ‘consumer’ clients out of the office. Content spans approximately 8,000 words.

General Data Protection Regulation toolkit

Take the pain out of GDPR compliance with all of the key tools you will need, tailored specifically for law firms. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll be able to get your systems in place with these templates. The toolkit includes:

  • a step-by-step guide on how to use the e-learning and templates;
  • a template privacy notice for clients;
  • example of a data audit / information mapping table which you can adopt as your starting point;
  • template law firm information risk assessment;
  • template data protection policy;
  • template staff standards on confidentiality, data protection, cyber security and more.

Word content spans approximately 15,000 words.

SRA price transparency toolkit 

The SRA’s price transparency rules require all law firms to publish certain information on their website. For some this is simply certain complaints / redress information but for others it requires publication of price information on the firm’s website. This toolkit includes template price information for firms to simply slot their pricing in in the context of the three most widely caught areas of law: employment, immigration and conveyancing. Content spans approximately 5,000 words.

SRA Risk and Compliance Office Manual Frequently Asked Questions:

Does the manual come as a Word file?

The manual comes in a Word file with some accompanying template registers in Excel. Once purchased from our shop you can immediately download the templates in Word (the registers come in Excel) enabling you to amend the templates to suit you best as you like. Please contact us if you require alternative formats before purchasing this item.

 

Is the office manual up to date?

Absolutely, we work very hard to ensure that the manual remains up to date with the latest rule changes. The policies and procedures have been updated to account for the new SRA rulebook (SRA Standards and Regulations 2019) due to come into effect on 25 November 2019. When you purchase the manual from the shop it is a one off purchase without updates. If you would prefer to subscribe to the manual to maintain access to the most up to date versions you can do so with a compliance office in the cloud subscription. Get in touch for more information.

Do I need to subscribe?

Not if you don’t want to no. You can simply purchase the manual as a one-off item if you wish to do so. If you are interested in continuing to receive the most up to date drafts you can subscribe to our Compliance Office in the Cloud platform. Contact us for more information.

Have the templates been approved by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)?

The SRA as a matter of policy do not approve template policies and procedures and do not generally offer their own. However we are pleased to say that our templates have been tried and tested many times over the years both in the context of the SRA authorisation process and onsite investigations without problem.

Will this office manual make my firm SRA compliant?

No template can simply be adopted and relied upon for complete compliance without any further action. Be very weary of any company which is suggesting that their product will automatically make you compliant – it is more complex than that unfortunately. While we tend to find that our templates require very little tailoring in most firms you should be satisfied that they work for you before adopting them.  They also need to be followed in practice. This means training staff periodically on the standards expected of them and implementing checks and balances to ensure that the standards set are being met. All that being said however, workable up-to-date policies and procedures are a very big piece of the puzzle and this package will set a great foundation for SRA compliance. We do offer more hands on support which includes training, health checks and retainer support. Just contact us for more details.

Do you provide guidance on how to implement the office manual?

As standard we price our manuals competitively without the automatic inclusion of any hands on help or guidance on your particular circumstances. However, we do work with a number of consultants who can help you tailor your policies and procedures or track your old manual into the new. Contact us if you would like more information on this.

Is the office manual compatible with Lexcel, CQS or SQM accreditation?

Yes, each of our policies and procedures have optional paragraphs highlighted by a different coloured text for those who wish to meet these standards. The majority of Lexcel, Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) and SQM requirements are specifically addressed within the templates (though in practice there is more to do than simply have the policies in place of course). The handful of exceptions to this relate to documentation which tends to be very bespoke firm to firm or relates to broader legal requirements which stray beyond our core expertise. In Lexcel for example the only documentation the firm would typically need to ‘top up’ would be in respect of corporate social responsibility, client satisfaction surveys, health and safety and HR policies. If you have purchased the manual and would like some recommendations on where to find some templates for such top ups do get in touch. Similarly for the closely linked Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) firms would need to describe in writing their lender reporting, leasehold and Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) approach in order to meet the CQS standards. 

Why do you not charge more money for your office manual?

Some of our longest standing retainer support clients started out with a simple purchase of our office manual. People tend to be very impressed by the quality of the manual (see our testimonials) and get in touch when they need more help and support. We obviously want that to continue! We also enjoy providing an alternative to some of the more costly piecemeal / subscription only alternatives out there.    

Call 01789 205072 | contact@complianceoffice.co.uk