Autumn update

Autumn update

By Tim Livesley on 27 October 2014

As many of you will know, we published the second Risk Outlook in July. It outlines the key changes taking place in the legal services market and identifies the key risks that need to be managed.

We are also committed to providing regular updates, and the next will be the Autumn Update in November. This will bring you up to speed with developments since July and will be accompanied by papers on two key current risks; money laundering and bogus firms. They cover trends that we are seeing, their relevance to law firms and information that will help firms to manage these risks.

For us, the Risk Outlook allows us to set out a coherent view of the risks we need to prioritise. For firms, the Risk Outlook presents an opportunity to improve their understanding of the risks that we are seeing in the legal services market, allowing them to assess the extent they might be affected and consider whether they have plans in place to manage them.

We hope firms will see the Risk Outlook as a valuable business tool, rather than simply an aide for better compliance with regulatory responsibilities. All good firms will already know that effective risk management makes good business sense. If the Risk Outlook is treated as one of the tools that firms can use to understand risk, this can help them run their business more effectively.

We've already seen evidence that the Risk Outlook is being used to good effect (Outlook makes a media splash, 21 September) and encourage you all to make it one of your critical reads. This is not about doing more risk management—it is about doing it smarter and more cost effectively.

As this section of the website evolves, we anticipate providing even more updates and resources. This is because for us, recognising risk is a vital part of your work as it is for us.

As you know, we are a public interest regulator, which means that when we think about risk, consumers of legal services are one of our primary considerations. For firms to maximise the positive impact of risk management, they will also need to think about the same people—except you will probably think of them as your clients, or potential clients. When you think about it like this, it is clear that we share very similar priorities with those we regulate.

We hope documents like the Autumn Update help to take another step towards a more collaborative approach to risk management.

Once the Autumn Update has been published, our attention will turn towards laying the foundations for the Risk Outlook 2015/16. Although next summer and the return of warm, hazy evenings feels like a long way off, there is a lot of work for us to fit in before then.

A key activity is a series of engagement events where we discuss risk and the market with firms and stakeholders. Over the past two years these have proved valuable for us, and I hope for those who attend as well. If you would be interested in getting involved, please submit your name and email address in the box below.

Tim Livesley is Risk Analysis and Research Manager at the Solicitors Regulation Authority.