With the advent of outcomes-focussed regulation where lawyers are only given ‘indications’ of what is appropriate practice and the new approach of the Legal Ombudsman to resolution of complaints, a thorough knowledge of the SRA Handbook is now imperative.
The following are now key Rules where the use of software is involved or can improve the likely outcome:
- Chapter 1 – O (1.5) “the service you provide to clients is competent, delivered in a timely manner …..” Intelliworks workflows enable you to deliver service consistently and in a timely manner
- Chapter 4 – O (4.1) requires that you “keep the affairs of clients confidential unless disclosure is required or permitted by law or the client consents”. Our Intelliworks Online service maintains all sensitive data at a managed secure data centre, meaning that, if a laptop is lost or stolen (the most frequent reason for disclosure of confidential information), the finder cannot access confidential client data.
- Chapter 7 – O (7.2) “you have effective systems and controls in place to achieve and comply with all the Principles, rules and outcomes and other requirements of the Handbook, where applicable.” Intelliworks workflows are designed to give you effective controls to comply with these requirements
- Chapter 7 – O (7.3) “you identify, monitor and manage risks to compliance with all the Principles, rules and outcomes and other requirements of the Handbook, if applicable to you, and take steps to address issues identified”. SRA Code of Conduct 2011 Chapter 7 IB(7.3) provides that you may have achieved compliance with O(7.3) if you have identified and monitored “financial, operational and business continuity risks including complaints, credit risks and exposure, claims under legislation relating to such matters as data protection, IT failures and abuses, and damages to offices”. The online delivery of Intelliworks workflows ensures that an IT failure in or damage to your offices will not affect the data in your case files, which remain instantly retrievable.
- Chapter 7 – O (7.8) “you have a system for supervising clients’ matters, to include the regular checking of work by suitably competent and experienced people.” Intelliworks enables the relevant partner to view any file of any fee earner at any time – whether in the same or any other office.
- Chapter 7- O(7.10) “subject to Outcome 7.9, where you outsource legal activities or any operational functions that are critical to the delivery of any legal activities, you ensure such outsourcing:
- does not adversely affect your ability to comply with, or the SRA’s ability to monitor your compliance with, your obligations in the Handbook;
- is subject to contractual arrangements that enable the SRA or its agent to obtain information from, inspect the records (including electronic records) of, or enter the premises of, the third party, in relation to the outsourced activities or functions;
- does not alter your obligations towards your clients; and
- does not cause you to breach the conditions with which you must comply in order to be authorised and to remain so.”
Intelliworks Service Level Agreement contains the powers required by the SRA under O (7.10) (b), is data protection compliant and includes business continuity and recovery plans.
With Intelliworks you can be assured that we have built in security from the ground up, have designed-in continuity and have produced best in class workflows to meet the ever increasing regulatory standards being imposed on those providing legal services.