We today announce the formal introduction of the Regulatory, Risk and Compliance Department
In recent years the practice has seen significant growth and success, which alongside its benefits has brought both a greater volume of work and a wider responsibility for steering how the business conducts its activities and remains compliant with all relevant laws, regulations, and guidelines.
Today’s announcement formalises a change implemented on 01 April 2023, in separating what was the Risk and Compliance Team out of Business Support activities, and the creation of its own department.
The separation of the department from other business functions aligns this activity with best practice in Risk Management, as it facilitates clear independence of internal reviews and business oversight. Further to this, the move makes clear the importance of the work completed by this area of the business.
What is changing?
The department is now a separate function of the business, operating with immediate reporting to the executive board.
The executive responsibility for the department sits jointly with Jonathan Leach as the Compliance Officer for Legal Practice (COLP), and Stuart Maher as the Compliance Officer for Finance and Administration (COFA)
The department will be led jointly by:
Mark Cartin – who becomes the practice’s Head of Regulatory Risk and retains his responsibility as the Money Laundering Compliance Officer. Mark will ensure that the practice continually adheres to all current and future regulations.
Richard Law‑Riding – who steps into the position of Head of Operational Risk, and will be responsible for ensuring the practice’s day-to-day activities and conduct are aligned with all internal and external requirements.
Reporting directly to Richard and Mark, four colleagues take specific roles to lead key areas of risk management:
Emily Christodoulou – is promoted to the role of Client Service Manager and will head up the practice’s Client Relations and Complaints responsibilities.
Rachel Hall – Takes on the role of Regulatory Manager and will take responsibilities of ensuring the practice is conducting its activities in line with all current regulatory requirements.
Sheila Johnson and the newly appointed Matthew Walker take on joint responsibilities as Legal Quality Assurance Managers. Sheila will be aligned to specific quality improvement projects, whilst Matthew will hold responsibility for ensuring the practice fulfils and maintains appropriate quality assurance checks and oversight activities, alongside quality assurance reporting.
Further to this, several colleagues within the team are from today recognised as paralegals, in view of their provision of legal advice services to the practice itself and its colleagues.
The department’s remit is wide ranging, but primarily looks to ensure the practice operates within its own risk appetite and procedural guidelines. It provides both second-line business oversight of client facing activities, alongside internal audit activities through targeted and thematic reviews.
The department will continue to conduct many of the operational risk processes that they currently maintain for the practice, including the response to all escalated complaints, the completion of file and matter auditing, Client Due Diligence Reporting, and full AML and CTF checks on the Source of Wealth and Funds for all monies due to be received into the practice where conveyancing matters require the same.