The new Regulations governing the current 2019 practice year CPD cycle define ‘Regulatory Matters’ as matters relating to the regulation of solicitors, including:-
• Solicitors Acts 1954-2015 and regulations made thereunder
• Accounting and anti-money laundering compliance
• Risk management
• Guide to Professional Conduct of Solicitors
• Professional ethics and standards of best practice
• Processing of complaints against solicitors by the Society
Having attained the minimum CPD requirements for 2019, it is open to you to do the remainder of your 20 hours in Practice Management &/or Regulatory Matters &/or General CPD (i.e. with no obligation in such event to undertake any General CPD topics).
The basis of the Law Society’s introduction of the minimum Regulatory Matters CPD, and indeed its obligation on solicitors to undergo at least three (3) of the annual twenty (20) hours on Management courses, is because a frequent difficulty experienced (and acknowledged) by solicitors relates to poor management of their practices, e.g. “poor communication with clients or shortcomings in financial management”.
This can lead to poor public image, mistakes being made, breaches of the Solicitors Acts 1954 to 2015 and regulations made thereunder occurring, too often resulting in complaints to the Law Society, and the consequent possible disciplinary actions. Hence the emphasis and obligation to keep up to date with regulatory matters and skilled at managing your practice (and yourself).