Adieu, adios, ahoj – whichever language, the word is final

13.12.19 / Insight posted in Articles, Blog

So the general election is now behind us and Brexit once more takes centre stage. As Boris is saying, it is full steam ahead on the Brexit front. While the Brexit date is 31 January, the end transition date (31 December 2020) remains unchanged. During the transition period, current trading arrangements between the EU and…


COFA: The role of the COFA

25.11.19 / Insight posted in Blog

The final issue within our series reviewing the key issues around new SRA Account Rules that come into effect on Monday 25 November 2019 is the role of your firms COFA. It is clear from the SRA’s guidance that the COFA’s level of oversight going forward will be increased, or at least the documentation of…


COFA: Systems and controls

22.11.19 / Insight posted in Blog

As the world is becoming increasingly digital, the SRA’s guidance, released on 4 July 2019, is making it clear that firms need to clearly document their IT systems and controls and that these are reviewed regularly. This should ideally be completed at least annually, depending on the size of the firm. The SRA’s guidance says…


COFA: Three-way bank reconciliations

22.11.19 / Insight posted in Blog

In this article we review the issues surrounding three-way bank reconciliations. Regular three-way bank reconciliations continue to be an area of focus for the SRA as a key way to identify shortfalls on the client account. The SRA’s guidance, released 4 July 2019, makes it clear that it is important that three-way reconciliations are completed…


COFA: Residual balances

20.11.19 / Insight posted in Blog

On 10 October 2019 the SRA issued their statement of prescribed circumstances which sets out the treatment to be applied to residual balances held by law firms which cannot be returned to the client at the end of a matter. This statement states that residual balances can continue to be treated in accordance with the…


COFA: Mixed receipts

19.11.19 / Insight posted in Blog

Following the topic of disbursements, firms also need to consider their procedures surrounding the treatment of mixed receipts in our series on the new SRA Account Rules. An area which was disliked in the SRA’s consultation on the rules was that the office element of mixed receipts must now be reallocated promptly to the office…


COFA: Disbursements

04.11.19 / Insight posted in Blog

Many law firms, but especially those with conveyancing departments, will need to consider the treatment of disbursements paid out of office monies when the SRA Accounts Rules 2019 come into effect on 25 November 2019. An area which was not highlighted particularly well as part of the consultation process, but may result in instances of…


Is your business at risk from the rise in employment tribunal claims?

04.03.19 / Insight posted in Articles, Blog

Employment tribunal claims on the rise in 2018 After the Supreme Court abolished employment tribunal fees, the number of employment tribunals rose and has not yet returned to pre-fee levels. However, we saw a definite trend of increasing employment tribunal claims in 2018 and this is likely to continue in 2019 and the foreseeable future…


Brexit Blog – Brexit Withdrawal Treaty: 15 November 2018

15.11.18 / Insight posted in Articles, Blog

So the proposed treaty, running to some 500 pages, has finally been released. Theresa May has won cabinet support after a five-hour meeting (or ferocious debate) and the UK’s exit moves to the next stage. The Brexit deal still requires EU27 agreement – a summit is planned before the end of the month; and then…


Passion for design, breath-taking vistas and a surprising dining experience at the LFA

24.10.18 / Insight posted in Blog

So it turns out architects have more fun than I realised! When Kingston Smith agreed to be a benefactor of the London Festival of Architecture (LFA) for the first time, most of our architects’ team thought we would be attending events to gain some useful insight into the current landscape of London architecture – and…