What we do

The financial compliance team is responsible for monitoring compliance with the accounts rules, including the money laundering regulations and related areas. This is done through the inspection and accounts certification processes, and by advising our members on compliance and best practice issues. Our work is overseen by the Client Protection Sub-Committee (formerly the Guarantee Fund Sub-Committee).

The accounts rules govern the way firms must manage their financial records and, in particular, client money. The rules not only provide a framework for firms but also set a benchmark for the standard of financial control that clients may expect from their solicitor. 

The accounts rules and associated guidance can be found in our rules and guidance section: B6: Accounts, Accounts Certificates, Professional Practice & Guarantee Fund. This includes the rules and guidance regarding accounts certificates.

If you have a question or query, please email fincomp@lawscot.org.uk and someone from the team will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Should you have any queries regarding the department or our work, please contact:

Ian Messer
Director of Financial Compliance
The Law Society of Scotland
Atria One
144 Morrison Street

Telephone: 0131 226 8897
Fax: 0131 226 7884
Email: fincomp@lawscot.org.uk

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Anti-money laundering

The fight against money laundering and counter terrorist financing - the role of the legal profession.

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Inspections of practice units

Why and how we carry out inspections and investigations into the books, records and conduct of all law firms in Scotland.

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Frauds and scams

Information to help Scottish law firms avoid becoming the victim of fraud or becoming involved in the facilitation of fraud or money laundering.

Mortgage fraud and CML compliance

We assess compliance with some sections of the CML Handbook because it will be necessary for solicitors to comply with certain sections of the handbook if they are to comply with the accounts rules.

This is because where the lender is the solicitor’s client, the CML handbook represents the clients instructions.   The Client Protection Sub Committee have agreed that “failure to follow the lenders instructions as contained within the CML Handbook is considered a breach of the Accounts Rules (B6.5.1(C)) of the Practice Rules 2011 and prior to 1 November 2011, Rule 6(1)(C ) of the Solicitors (Scotland) Accounts etc Rules 2001).

The approach taken by the Financial Compliance Department and Client Protection Fund Sub Committee is summarised in the 'Regulation and the CML Handbook'.

Several cases of non-compliance with the CML Handbook and the accounts rules can be reviewed in the Scottish Solicitors’ Discipline Tribunal (SSDT) annual reports.

Your financial management

We've developed a business sustainability toolkit to help your organisation to assess and improve its financial health