Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Risk News & Updates: Lateral Hire Intake Checklist, Canadian and UK Lawyer Regulation

Authors at McKenna Long & Aldridge recently published "Ensure lateral moves are win-win," which reviews "questionnaires, conflicts checks and proper documentation [that] will help boost profitability, lower risk":
  • "Like all risk management issues, the most effective strategies involve systems. This means adopting practices, protocols and procedures that the law firm and its attorneys follow every time. Murphy's law applies in full force in lateral hiring. Inevitably, it is the one time that the law firm fails to follow the established rules that comes back to create the most difficult problems... Of course, it all sounds intimidating. But, it does not have to be so. The solution is an effective system with questionnaires, supplemental questionnaires, conflicts checks and a documented mutual understanding, which combine to do most of the work. Safer and more profitable—it is a winning combination."
University of Calgary law professor Alice Woolley opines on larger issues stemming from a recent disciplinary decision by the Law Society of British Columbia in "Lawyers Regulatory Lawyers?" --
  • "The decision warrants comment, however, because the threat it creates to the legitimacy of lawyer self-regulation applies to all Canadian law societies. Specifically, the misdirection in regulatory energy reflected by the decision of the Law Society of British Columbia in this case is something to which all Canadian law societies have shown themselves to be susceptible. This comment is a plea to the law societies to think more carefully about the cases they pursue; to take more seriously conduct by lawyers that undermines the rule of law; and, to allow lawyers to hold each other to account in circumstances where there is a reasonable basis to allege misconduct, even if lawyers sometimes do so with 'incivility.'"
Interesting developments in the UK:
  • Law Society and SRA unveil deal to resolve longstanding governance wrangling -- "The Law Society and Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) have hammered out 'a permanent resolution' of their long-running internal governance issues, the pair announced yesterday."
  • SRA eyes expanded international reach by offering to regulate foreign firms -- " In addition, it may seek to regulate firms that are English and Welsh law firm partnerships but part of a larger Verein structure – where it would be expected to designate the SRA as the lead/home regulator of the English and Welsh part of the Verein... For foreign firms with subsidiary operations in England and Wales which contains solicitor partners and have the majority of their turnover and activity outside of England and Wales, they would either be subject to the SRA Handbook regime only in England and Wales, or be able to have the SRA as its lead/home regulator worldwide."
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