Blog

what is RSS?

All blog posts

  • How to catch a phish by Richard Hill, Stepien Lake  »

    19/04/16 - practice management
    Following on from my article last month on cybercrime, I want to help you spot a deceitful phishing email sent by an attacker.
    Richard Hill By Richard Hill
    from Stepien Lake and chair, ILFM
  • Who is your weakest link? by Richard Hill, Stepien Lake »

    17/03/16 - practice management
    The impression many have of a cyber attack is either the stereotypical Hollywood film version – the teenager in their bedroom hacking into high-security government networks – or an elaborate Mission Impossible style hack through multilayered high-tech defence systems.
    Richard Hill By Richard Hill
    from Stepien Lake and chair, ILFM
  • Property prizes »

    15/07/15 - practice management
    The brakes have come off the property market, according to leading estate agents, who are detecting a rush of people putting homes up for sale in light of the outcome of the election.
    Richard Hill By Richard Hill
    from Stepien Lake and chair, ILFM
  • The risks of holding client money »

    30/01/15 - practice management
    The holding and transacting of client money is seen as one of the biggest risks for a legal business. It is easy to see why, with the emergence of bogus law firms and sophisticated fraudsters targeting law firms, anti-money laundering concerns, heavy regulation (with compliance officers) and the misuse of client money.
    Richard Hill By Richard Hill
    from Stepien Lake and chair, ILFM
  • Are principle-based Accounts Rules the future? »

    08/12/14 - practice management
    As you all know, back in October 2011 the SRA transformed its approach to regulation by implementing the principles-based, outcomes-focused regulation. Many solicitors still to this day struggle with the concept and I am sure many practice managers still get asked the question: ‘But where does it say that in the rules?’
    Richard Hill By Richard Hill
    from Stepien Lake and chair, ILFM
  • Get your firms' contingency plan in order »

    22/09/14 - practice management
    In Lexisnexis’s Bellwether report 2014 (Brave New World), 60% of equity partners considered their exit strategy a significant challenge, and only one in four had plans in place. The reality is many firms are focusing on client retention and obtaining professional indemnity insurance to stay in business, rather than giving a thought to how they may exit their firms or keep the firm going.
    Richard Hill By Richard Hill
    from Stepien Lake and chair, ILFM
  • Open your accounts wide and say ‘AR’ »

    30/06/14 - practice management
    In my January column I discussed the evolving role of the COFA and the three possible reasons behind the SRA’s COFA consultation – that is, the COFA becoming the SRA’s main financial contact, preparing for an eventual move to principle-based account rules, and the role of the reporting accountants.
    Richard Hill By Richard Hill
    from Stepien Lake and chair, ILFM
  • Law firms, incorporated »

    02/06/14 - practice management
    It has long been the perception that the legal industry generally is not the most forward-thinking of industries (as much a truism as accountants being boring), but there are more reasons now than ever before for legal practices to review their business structures.
    Richard Hill By Richard Hill
    from Stepien Lake and chair, ILFM
  • The financial risks of relocating your firm »

    09/05/14 - practice management
    Planning for a firm’s premises is a long-term, strategically important commitment, and reviewing property obligations and arrangements can also potentially cut costs or at least prepare for future planning.
    Richard Hill By Richard Hill
    from Stepien Lake and chair, ILFM
  • A lot at stake in today's law firm »

    31/03/14 - finance
    Let’s reminisce for a moment. Do you remember when a quick phone call to your friendly bank manager was all you needed to request some partner capital or extend the overdraft, with little need to produce financial information to back up the request?
    Richard Hill By Richard Hill
    from Stepien Lake and chair, ILFM
  • The COFA’s uncertain future »

    03/03/14 - finance
    To add to the SRA’s growing list of consultations, it started a review of the compliance officer for finance and administration (COFA) role in October 2013, less than a year after officers took up their posts.
    Richard Hill By Richard Hill
    from Stepien Lake and chair, ILFM
  • 10 things you should have done as COFA: Part two »

    22/11/13 - finance
    In this two part series Richard hill highlights five key areas of the COFA role.
    Richard Hill By Richard Hill
    from Stepien Lake and chair, ILFM
  • 10 things you should have done as COFA: Part one »

    15/11/13 - finance
    In this two part series Richard hill highlights five key areas of the COFA role. Please check back next week Friday for the second instalment.
    Richard Hill By Richard Hill
    from Stepien Lake and chair, ILFM
  • Professional indemnity insurance - the highs and the lows »

    09/07/13 - finance
    As a surprise to many law firms, but widely expected in insurance circles, the overall primary insurance premium pot was down last year to £239.9m from £255.71 in 2011. This was the first "real" reduction in premium since 2007.
    Richard Hill By Richard Hill
    from Stepien Lake and chair, ILFM
  • COFA conundrums: How do you know if your firm is in trouble? »

    08/03/13 - practice management
    The ultimate role of the COFA (as set out in the SRA Authorisation Rules) is to ensure compliance with the SRA Accounts Rules 2011, and to record any failures of compliance. But the SRA’s Quick Guide to OFR implies that the COFA has a duty to report to the SRA when the practice is in serious financial difficulty. Yes, you guessed it: there is no definition of serious financial difficulty given.
    Richard Hill By Richard Hill
    from Stepien Lake and chair, ILFM