Each firm has an Anti Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO) to whom all suspicions should be reported in accordance with the firm’s own procedures. The procedures are designed to meet the obligations the firm has, to mitigate the risk that it may be used by Money Launderers. Everyone within each firm receives regular training to enable them to recognise suspicious circumstances and to conduct their business in a way that ensures they comply with the requirements of the Anti Money Laundering Regulations, Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism. Quarterly group meetings are held for the MLROs in our firms. Expert advice is provided by Teal Compliance with the latest best practice identified and emerging issues are discussed. Ways of improving procedures are suggested in the light of Teal’s expert advice and the ongoing experiences of members.
The professional indemnity insurance arrangements are a key part of the risk management programme operated by Law South for its member firms. The arrangements include:
- An off-shore captive insurance company (Meridies) providing cover for the excess layer before attachment to the qualifying insurer. Individual firm excesses depend on turnover and premium is mainly calculated according to a combination of the individual firm’s claims history and the claims performance of the group as a whole for an individual indemnity year.
- Law South’s brokers (Marsh) negotiate the best overall primary cover for the member firms. Marsh work with each firm to consider their individual needs and to select the appropriate level and source of top-up for cover in excess of the primary layer. The combined approach brings benefits from joint buying power in respect of compulsory cover and top up layers as well as an excellent quality of brokerage at a preferential price.
- Primary cover provided by Aviva, AIG and CV Starr. This includes enhanced policy wording in excess of the minimum standard terms. Member firms also benefit from more attractive premium rates when compared to the market rate due to the importance placed by the underwriters on the group’s good claims record, group-wide risk management programme and the emphasis on continuous improvement.
- Support from the central Risk Management team and strategic compliance partner, Teal Compliance Limited, on all aspects of best practice principles relating to risk management and compliance of a modern law firm. As well as contributing to the lower premiums offered by insurers, the central risk management resource enables member firms to learn from the mutual experiences of all members whilst retaining an appropriate level of confidentiality in respect of particular claims experiences.
Law South operates a Risk Management Programme for all its member firms. Professional Indemnity Insurance arrangements are a key part of that programme.
All member firms are signed up to the concept of running best practice standards throughout their operations. These standards are based on the principles in the Law South Risk Management and Compliance Standard. Operation of best practice standards and a strong awareness of the importance of Risk Management helps to contain risks to an acceptable level and ensures an excellent standard of client service.
Four meetings a year are held for those responsible for Risk Management in our firms. This increases the focus on emerging risks and helps develop a robust strategy. Latest best practice is also discussed to enable firms to operate with the benefit of the most current thinking. The opportunity to share experiences with colleagues in the Group is a powerful resource and one of the great benefits of membership of Law South. Meetings take place in January, March, June and September each year.
To promote interaction & the sharing of experiences across key business functions, Law South provides a forum for senior managerial staff in Law South member firms to meet and share thoughts, ideas and problems in a ‘safe’ collegiate environment. In addition, some groups use it as an opportunity to invite a guest speaker on a current topic of interest. These forums are invaluable for the exchange of ideas in a non-competitive atmosphere. People are open to discuss and debate current issues and provide useful solutions jointly. There are currently eight SIGs all meeting quarterly online or in-person as required.
The Board of Law South is comprised of the Managing Partners/CEOs, MDs and Chairs of the member firms who are the Directors of Law South Group Limited. The Group Risk Director and the CEO also attend. The Board develop the strategy, review operations and provide the corporate governance for Law South. The CEO of Law South reports to the Board. The Board receives reports on the performance of the services delivered, the risk management programme and Professional Indemnity Insurance. Board meetings are held quarterly in March, June, September and December. The Board often has a presentation from an external speaker and discussion. If a Director is unable to attend any meeting personally, a colleague deputises to ensure each firm is represented. The Chair is held for two years by the MP/CEO of one of the members firms in rotation. The current Chair is Mike Parker from Wilsons who took over in December 2021.
The Law South mediation service was set up in response to a perceived need across the region that clients who wish to sort out a dispute would prefer to resolve that problem out of court where possible. This service is called Law South Mediation.
The service is co-ordinated by our central office in Chichester. Please contact us on 01243 680281
About Law South
Law South was formed in 1988, has evolved with the market and proved to be a successful model following an agreed protocol. The firms have collaborated on a wide variety of business and managerial development initiatives that have substantially improved business practices as well as achieving considerable cost savings for its members.
The member firms wholly own Law South Group Ltd (known as Law South) which is a company limited by guarantee. It is financed mainly by an annual subscription from the firms and is managed by a Management Board comprising the twelve managing partners or CEOs or their representatives. Board meetings are held quarterly and serve to support networking among this group.
By working together with like-minded individuals, member firms build up a relationship in a non-competitive environment thus providing a forum to share and discuss ideas, problems & experiences with a common focus of achieving ‘best practice’.
Examples of co-operative projects include:
- Risk management and PI Insurance
- Learning & professional development
- Joint initiatives including purchasing
- Meetings of Special Interest Groups (‘SIGs’)
Whilst member firms are (and remain) in competition in the marketplace, whether this be attracting clients or recruiting staff, nonetheless a culture has been created through the mutuality of Law South where there is an openness, a trust, and a shared support network that benefits all its members.