External examinations – what are we looking for?
External Examiners are an important cog in the regulatory system, assisting law practices and barristers clerks to maintain their trust records, and reporting annually to us on the way these records are kept. However, an External Examiner review can be a stressful process and you may be concerned that there could be serious disciplinary consequences for any rule breaches, no matter the circumstances.
We take a risk-based approach to managing legislative breaches, and minor infractions will not necessarily result in major consequences. The review by your external examiner is an opportunity for you to discuss your practice with them and get the benefit of their experience. You and your staff can learn where you need to make improvements and get a better understanding of rules that are causing you difficulties.
There are a number of reasons why we see minor infractions, including:
• more education might be needed
• some rules are antiquated and difficult to comply with
• additional practice support might be required, with support provided by the LIV trust consulting program.
It is only for the most serious cases that disciplinary action is warranted – where a client’s rights or funds are in jeopardy. This is our outcomes focused approach.