Legal Services Regulation Act 2015

116.

Regulations on operation of legal partnerships and multi-disciplinary practices

116. (1) Subject to this section, the Authority may make regulations in relation to the operation and management of—

(a) legal partnerships, and

(b) multi-disciplinary practices.

(2) The Authority shall—

(a) upon the commencement of section 100 or as soon as practicable thereafter, make regulations under subsection (1)(a), and

(b) upon the commencement of section 102 or as soon as practicable thereafter, make regulations under subsection (1)(b).

(3) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), regulations under that subsection may provide for—

(a) the standards to be observed in the provision by the practice of legal services to clients, including standards relating to:

(i) the professional and ethical conduct of persons providing legal services to clients;

(ii) the obligation of such persons to keep the affairs of clients confidential;

(iii) the provision of information to a client in relation to the duties owed by the practice to him or her,

(b) the rights, duties and responsibilities of a practice in respect of moneys received from clients,

(c) the management and control of the practice so as to ensure that:

(i) the standards referred to in paragraph (a) are at all times observed;

(ii) it has in place appropriate systems of control, including systems for risk management and financial control;

(iii) where, in the provision by it of services, a conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest arises, this is dealt with adequately and in accordance with any relevant code of conduct or professional codes;

(iv) its obligations under this Act and regulations made under it are complied with,

(d) the maintenance by the practice of records,

(e) the regulation of the names that may be used by a practice,

(f) the regulation of the advertising by the practice of its services.

(4) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), regulations under subsection (1)(b) may—

(a) specify procedures that are to be included in the written procedures referred to in section 110(1) , and

(b) provide for:

(i) the type or types of bank accounts that may be opened and kept by a multi-disciplinary practice, and the opening and keeping of such accounts;

(ii) the accounting records to be maintained (or caused to be maintained) by a legal practitioner, who is a partner in or an employee of a multi-disciplinary practice arising from the provision by him or her of legal services, including the minimum period or periods for which accounting records shall be retained by a legal practitioner during the period of, and following the conclusion of, the provision of legal services;

(iii) the keeping by a legal practitioner referred to in subparagraph (ii) of accounting records containing particulars of and information as to moneys received, held, controlled or paid by him or her arising from the provision by him or her of legal services, for or on account of a client or any other person or himself or herself.

(5) In making regulations under this Part, the Authority shall have regard to the objectives specified in section 13(4) and to the following:

(a) the need to ensure that the provision by a practice of legal services to its clients is of a standard that it is reasonable to expect of a legal practitioner in the provision of those services;

(b) the need to ensure that a practice is operated or managed in such a way as to ensure that a legal practitioner who is a partner in or an employee of that practice has, in the provision by him or her of legal services, adequate regard to—

(i) the codes of practice and professional codes that are applicable to him or her, and

(ii) the professional principles specified in section 13(5) ;

(c) the need to ensure that the interests of clients of practices are protected and that the duties owed to them by practices are complied with and, in particular, that the activities of a practice do not expose the interests of a client to risk or pose a risk to monies received by it from a client;

(d) the need, in the case of a multi-disciplinary practice, to ensure that the provision by it of services other than legal services does not have the effect of lowering the standard referred to in paragraph (a) or the regard by legal practitioners referred to in paragraph (b) to the matters specified in that paragraph;

(e) the need to ensure that public confidence in practices is maintained.

(6) In subsections (3) and (5), “practice” means a legal partnership or a multi-disciplinary practice.