Complying with legislation - what law firms need to know

Firms should make sure that they comply with all necessary legislation to provide protection to their clients and the public. David Pope highlights four areas that are important to get right for both consumers and firms.

Acting in our best interests

Any legal firm should understand its obligations to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism by complying with the new Money Laundering Regulations 2017. CILEx authorised firms are supervised by CILEx Regulation.

Consumers – ask the firm you deal with who supervises them and check with their supervisor. Consider why any firm may not want to be supervised.

Who am I dealing with?

Any legal firm should be clear about how they are set up – are they a sole trader, a partnership or a limited company? Limited companies are required to provide the public with particular information so you know that you are dealing with a separate body.

Consumers – make sure you are clear who you are dealing with, who is holding your money and who is providing any protection for you.

Keeping information safe

Any firm (including sole traders) that processes personal information about you must register with the Information Commissioner’s Office. This is required by the Data Protection Act 1998, which sets the rules for looking after your information. Firms should provide their registration details to you.

Consumers – make sure your firm has registered by checking here.

Am I committed to going ahead?

If you agree to a service online or over the phone or face-to-face at your home then the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 may apply and if they do you would benefit from a 14-day cancellation period.

Consumers Ask the law firm to confirm in writing whether or not the regulations apply to your contract with them.

These four areas are all designed to protect you as a consumer, so make sure you benefit from them.


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