Category Archives: Legal

Spring clean your financial controls

Samuel Thompson

With large sums in their office and client bank accounts, and access to sensitive information about their clients, legal firms are an attractive target for fraudsters.

Moreover, fraudsters’ methods are becoming more varied and sophisticated. Can your firm’s financial controls combat fraud, or do they need a ‘spring clean’?

Our recent experience

Last year there was a significant change to the Solicitors Accounts Rules, giving more weight to the accountant’s judgement of risk.

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Incorporating/not incorporating?

Daniel Jefferson

Hot on the heels of the Budget, I’m sure the questions being asked by many partners at solicitor practices across the country are, “Should we consider incorporation to obtain limitation to liability or not?” and, “What are the consequences now?”

The majority of the legal practices that we see are predominantly partnerships and partners are looking at how to structure the practice in order to attract and obtain potential future partners.

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Making Tax Digital ­­- how will it affect the legal sector?

Peter Glading

Major changes are being made to the way in which all taxpayers interact with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The Government is referring to these changes as “Making Tax Digital” (MTD), and they are proposing a staged introduction to the new rules, starting for many in April 2018.

Larking Gowen has prepared and submitted a comprehensive response to HMRC’s consultations on Making Tax Digital with regard to how it impacts our clients and suggesting matters to improve implementation for businesses.

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SRA issues warning over ‘solicitor fraud’ threat

Following on from Thomas’ blog on financial fraud, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has recently issued a warning against fraud schemes that involve solicitors in order to make the scam appear more credible to the general public.

The specific warning was in relation to high-yield investment schemes, or ‘get-rich-quick’ schemes, where there has recently been a number of law firms linked to potentially fraudulent incidents.

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VAT on commercial property

Daniel May

When purchasing a commercial property there are many considerations to be taken into account. Matters such as the chosen business vehicle, legal agreements, stamp duty and corporation tax are often high up on the list of things to consider. Unfortunately VAT can be sometimes forgotten about until the last moment, or not even considered at all – a potentially costly mistake.

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Expert Witness Accountants and commercial disputes

Thomas Norman

The subject of this blog is one specific area of our team’s expertise – commercial disputes.

In a nutshell…

Commercial disputes arise as a result of any form of conflict that occurs between businesses or those within a business.

There are different types of commercial dispute, from failure to fulfil contractual obligations to business owners falling out over differing opinions.

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A control that fails to control is a con

Samuel Thompson

What internal controls does your firm have in place to ensure that client money is protected?

Do they perform their intended roles effectively?

How can you be sure?

The Solicitors’ Regulation Authority  (SRA) Accounts Rules have seen a considerable change in the past few months, involving the removal of a prescribed list of tests to undergo on an SAR audit, and the introduction of a new rule which reads as follows:

“The Accountant should exercise his or her professional judgement in determining the work required for the firm they are instructed to obtain the report on in order to assess risks to client money arising from compliance with these rules.

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