Vulnerable clients ‘an emerging risk’ for solicitors

July 29, 2013

Liverpool, UK (July 2013) – Solicitors have been told that the service they provide to vulnerable clients is one of the SRA’s emerging risks for the coming year.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has published its first annual Risk Outlook1, giving those working in the legal profession an idea of what they should be watching out for over the coming months, in order to avoid falling foul of enforcement action.

Risks are categorised as current, emerging or potential, helping solicitors to know which are the most immediate threats to their operations.

Among the first emerging risks to be identified is the issue of the quality of service given to vulnerable clients, which solicitors have been warned to watch out for.

Potential future risks include a lack of transparency, a lack of due diligence when outsourcing, and abusive or improper litigation, all of which the SRA suggests solicitors should try to avoid.

Meanwhile, in the current economic climate, it is perhaps of little surprise that a major current risk is that of financial instability – something the SRA is working with at-risk firms to keep under control.

Training for risk
Managing emerging risks is one area that can be tackled using CPD training, which remains an important element in the continuing professional development of even experienced solicitors.

Training sessions can look at risk management directly, or might focus on specific aspects of the job, with a better understanding of those aspects also helping to reduce your exposure to emerging threats.

The SRA’s Risk Outlook is one way to help you to identify the areas in which it might be best to consider undertaking some additional training.

However, if there are any other issues that are a cause for concern based on your unique individual experiences, it is perhaps wise to prioritise these in any training you undertake, as they are more likely to be pressing current concerns, as opposed to potential future risks that have not yet emerged.

1Risk Outlook maps out key risks, SRA, July 2013

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