Help for newly ensconced COLPs and COFAs was at hand this week at franchise network HighStreetLawyer.com’s conference at Chancery Lane. One top tip came from risk manager PNCR Legal’s Tim Prior, who noted that many COLPs and COFAs are still struggling with keeping systems and policies up to date.
Prior cited two examples of recently updated office manuals containing obsolete information. One manual, updated last September, told staff: ‘If clients complain, we must notify them of their right to complain to the SCB.’ The SCB, or Solicitors Complaints Bureau, was abolished in 1996.
Another manual, revised in December last year, still contained a reference to the Solicitors Accounts (Deposit Interest) Rules 1988 – which changed over a decade ago.
This is pretty basic stuff, Dougal, as Father Ted used to say. Unlike an ‘01’ phone number on a London shop sign, outdated manuals have not reached the stage of being charming rather than sloppy. Obiter is sure such errors are oversights, rather than an indication that some in the profession are reluctant to adapt to change. Though Obiter rather liked the reason given by one attendee for her high street firm still closing for lunch: ‘We need thinking time.’