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Lexcel V6 to V6.1 - Start Preparing

If you are the Lexcel Senior Responsible Officer (SRO) then you may have had an email recently from the Lexcel office informing you about a “review” of the Lexcel Standard. As this is a review rather than a change, the Law Society will simply change how they refer to the standard from Lexcel V6 to Lexcel V6.1. If you’ve been accredited for 5 years plus, you may remember something similar when Lexcel V4 changed to V4.1. Basically, this is necessary to bring the standard up to date with the latest legislation, in this case the following;

  • The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 2016/679);
  • The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017;
  • The European Union Financial Sanctions (Amendment of Information Provisions) Regulations 2017; and
  • The Criminal Finances Act 2017.

This may be treated as a review rather than a full standard version change as it isn’t known at the moment whether the Solicitors Regulation Authority will introduce the code of conduct changes it has been consulting on over the last year. If that happens, then there could be a complete version change, making it Lexcel V7.

How you can prepare for the review;

Well, the first place to start is with the Money laundering and Terrorist Financing and Transfer of funds and consider;

·         Do your firm’s money laundering policies and procedures accurately reflect the changes made when this was introduced in 2017?

·         Has your firm carried out the Money Laundering Risk Assessment that is required by the new regulation?

·         Has your firm and relevant personnel had training on the new requirements?

·         Does your new policy also consider the European Financial Sanctions and the Criminal Finances Act?

·         Has your firm (if you’re not a sole practitioner) appointed a Money Laundering Compliance Officer?

With GDPR, the list is a little longer, but at the very least by now someone in the firm, or an external consultant should have mapped the firm’s use of personal data to identify what you hold, how secure it is, whether you share it with other agencies or experts, and how you destroy it. This is certainly not an exhaustive list….

The Law Society stated in their email that there isn’t a defined date for when the new requirements in Lexcel 6.1 will be implemented, and given that GDPR doesn’t come into force until 25th May 2018, and there will need to be training for the Lexcel audit bodies, we’d suggest it could be any time after that…so you should start preparing now…