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Webinar
3.5 UpdateInformation
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SRA Competency A D

Introduction

This online bundle provides an update on the most important areas of the solicitors’ accounts rules.

Each of the 7 modules is delivered in bite-sized slots of 30 minutes and will cover the key messages together with tips and tactics.

Presented by our expert speakers, this is the ideal way for you and your colleagues to keep up to date with all the latest developments.

Agenda

The modules covered are as follows:

Module 1 - Professional Fee Collection

Stephen Allinson

All professional firms need to be committed to fee collection if they are to develop and flourish. Accounts and credit control staff are often at the front line in these areas, and this first of two modules will guide you through the basics of this subject and enable sensible and proactive steps to be taken for the benefit of the firm overall.

Areas to be covered will include:

  • Law firm bills - particular requirements under the Solicitors Act and related rules
  • Complaints and disputes - how to minimise
  • The Legal Ombudsman - friend or foe?
  • The collection cycle - tips and tactics on ensuring it runs smoothly
  • Educating fee earners on the importance of this area
  • Minimising bad debt and maximising recovery of fees

Module 2 - Protecting Client Money

Joanna Morris

The SRA Risk Outlook 2020/21 has seven priority risks in it - one of them being the protection of client money. In the first nine months of 2019 the SRA took regulatory action, including SDT referrals on 70 cases of misappropriation of client money.

This session will cover:

  • The SRA Accounts Rules - Part 2 client money and client accounts - putting these into practice
  • Third party managed accounts (TPMA) - would they work for me?
  • What do the SRA guidelines say about client money?

Module 3 - Professional Fee Collection - The Difficult Cases

Stephen Allinson

Whilst fee collection rates can improve, there will always be some difficult cases. This module will concentrate on tips and techniques to deal with those matters for the benefit of the firm.

Areas to be covered will include:

  • Recognising the warning signs of potential problem areas
  • The role of the fee earner and the role of the accounts staff - a partnership?
  • Know your debtor - can’t pay or won’t pay?
  • Legal proceedings or not, that is the question
  • Enforcement of a judgment - the real skill is in this arena
  • Quick wins for the professional law firm in developing a successful collection process and strategy

Module 4 - Solicitors Accounts Rules & Good Housekeeping - 30 Minutes

Joanna Morris

This session will explore housekeeping and how to keep those residual balances to a minimum with guidelines for good practice.

Module 5 - VAT & Disbursements

Simone Hurst

This session will take you through the key rules and regulations when dealing with VAT on disbursements and will cover the following:

  • What is meant by the term disbursement for VAT purposes and how does this differ to the general meaning?
  • What does it mean for something to be treated as a disbursement for VAT purposes?
  • What conditions need to be met in order for something to be treated as a disbursement?
  • The Brabners case; how does this affect things and what has HMRC said?

Module 6 - The Current Rules & Resources - What They Don’t Say

Trevor Hellawell

This session will summarise the rules and the thinking behind them and will cover the following:

  • The current rules and the thinking behind them
  • What has changed, and what has not
  • How far can we go in adjusting our procedures?

Module 7 - Key Changes to Your Terms & Conditions

Trevor Hellawell

This session will explore the key things that could be changed in your terms and conditions including:

  • What could be changed in your T&Cs - disbursements, interest and other matters
  • Drafting pointers
  • How to distribute T&Cs

This webinar was recorded on 13th November 2020

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Solicitors’ Accounts Rules - 7 Essential Modules for Law Firms

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