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10 Years of support to the Legal Profession

Cpm21 – Anniversary Edition

Yes, that’s right, we’re celebrating 10 years of service to the solicitors’ profession, which began on the 1st of July 2007…

And right from the go, we were busy helping our clients with their issues, whether that was for management of the firm, compliance for the firm, or with helping firms train their personnel.

In 10 years, we’ve seen a lot, and constantly adapted what we offer to support legal practices. The following isn’t an exhaustive list, but gives an idea of what we’ve done to help firms when they’ve needed it…

3 Codes of Conduct

Yes, when the 2018 SRA code of conduct comes in, that will be the third code that we’ve supported by;

  • Providing training for what the code means and how it should be implemented
  • Providing training for COLPs and COFAs – these new roles were created by the Outcomes Focused Regulation code and the need for Compliance Officers
  • Supporting Equality & Diversity requirements – be that for data collection and report compilation, or for policy and procedure development or for Legal Aid Agency tender requirement
  • Supporting firms before, during and after a visit from the Solicitors Regulation Authority

We did the same for the 2007 and 2011 codes too!

“2” Legal Aid Agency Tenders

Well, this would really be three because of the “U” turn by the government on the original Criminal Legal Aid Tender.

We supported firms with the Family and Civil tender in 2013, and the recent criminal tenders, and no doubt we’ll be supporting firms again if the “delayed” Family and Civil tender resurfaces this year

Quality Standard Accreditation

We’ve supported hundreds of firms to achieve the Law Society Lexcel Practice Quality Mark, the Law Society Conveyancing Quality Standard, and the Legal Aid Agency Specialist Quality Mark. We’re sure we’ll be continuing to do this, plus we’ll be helping Welsh firms (or English firms that have dealings with the Welsh Assembly Government) to achieve the new Ethical Employment Standard required by businesses that wish to obtain funding or contracts from the Welsh Assembly Government

Training

This has been a big area of support to the profession from us. From Trainee Solicitors going through the Professional Skills Course, and newly qualified solicitors doing the SRA Management Course Stage 1, to Compliance Officer Training, Equality and Diversity for fee earners and support staff, the list is so extensive we can’t list it all.

And we’ll continue to provide this support to ensure that Solicitors and others meet the continued Competence requirements set by the SRA

Solicitors Regulation Authority and Legal Aid Agency Audit Support

This support always reminds us of the “Ghostbusters” movie maxim. A firm receives notice of an intended (and usually unwelcome or inconvenient) audit by either of the above, and the Managing Partner, Director of COLP instantly thinks “Who are we going to call?”

And the answer to that question for a lot of firms was cpm21. (We’re not quite as cool as the Ghostbusters).

We’ve helped pre-audit to prepare documentation, we’ve supported during audit, liaising with the SRA or LAA representative, and we’ve supported post audit, when corrective actions have been issued.

In all cases to the great relief and reassurance of the particular firm…

Marketing Project Management

We’ve helped clients by running internal marketing committees made up of representatives from throughout their firms, with the aim of improving their brand and ultimately increase new matter starts in cases where the firm’s management either haven’t had the time or knowledge to do either

Strategy and Business Planning

By far, one of the more satisfying support services we provide is Strategy Formation and Deployment, helping firms develop successful plans that move the Partners or Directors to where they want to go, be it merging, selling or growing their firm.

Newer Services

In the last two years we’ve introduced popular new services such as outsourced file review and complaints handling, both of which have helped save our clients time and money and have resulted in an improvement in file standards and complaint reduction.

We’ve also helped collate Equality & Diversity Information, compile reports in preparation for firms to submit to the SRA.

As we said earlier, the support and services we have and continue to provide are by no means exhaustive, and we’re sure we’ll continue with most of them…

2017 and 2018…

We are already gearing up for what we anticipate our clients will need in this period, and that includes some of the following;

  • Money Laundering 4th Directive, AML Manuals, Risk Assessments and Training
  • COLP and COFA training in the SRA Code of Conduct 2018
  • Equality & Diversity Report Preparation and Training
  • Changes to the requirements for Cyber-essentials policies
  • Changes needed to be implemented for the General Data Protection Regulation
  • Family and Civil tender support
  • Marketing training to help firms compete in the brave new world of SRA “Deregulation”

It’s been a frantic 10 years for our clients, and certainly a busy period for us, but we’ll finish this by saying to all clients past, present and potentially future.

While we’ve been supporting you, you’ve been supporting us.

A big thank you for your support, loyalty and custom.

We’re still here providing the support and services you need.

Here’s to the last 10 years.

And we will be there for you for at least the next 10 years…