Tracey Calvert Interview

You’re chairing Regulatory compliance for small law firms and alternative business structures for ARK on the 17 March. What is it that appeals to you about the event?

Many conferences are aimed at larger firms and firms which may employ compliance teams. This conference will be different in that we will be thinking exclusively about the compliance issues which matter to small firms and will take into account the regulatory and ethical dilemmas which these types of businesses must address. We will be able to cut to the chase and identify practical, relevant and workable solutions to the issues. I want this conference to be an opportunity for anyone with an interest, or specific role, in compliance to hear the latest thinking on the topic and be able to share their ideas with other delegates.

Are there any sessions in particular you are looking forward to?

The day offers a variety of sessions which are relevant to smaller firms. The programme has been designed to address the major compliance and risk issues we are facing and there is a combination of risk updating and compliance topics. I am particularly looking forward to the sessions from the SRA, and about data protection issues, and to hear from expert speakers about current regulatory and risk topics and to take away tips about what we should be prioritising in the coming months. I am also keen to hear the views of the experts on our panel in what I anticipate will be an interactive session in which we discuss current compliance conundrums.

While smaller practices may not have the resources of the bigger firms, what practical steps would you advise smaller firms to do to stay compliant?

Smaller practices are unlikely to want or need a discrete compliance team. However, they still need to be able to demonstrate a proportionate and dynamic approach to managing compliance and the risks attached to running a law firm business. The SRA describes their model law firm as one where everyone carries out their role in the business effectively and with proper governance and risk management strategies in place. This is what I believe is the key to staying compliant; a working environment where there is a framework of systems and policies to keep the business safe, which is communicated to everyone, and which is supported by strong and unified leadership.

With regulation changing so quickly, what advice would you have on how a compliance officer can keep abreast of changes?

Compliance is dynamic which means that it is constantly changing. Beautifully crafted systems and procedures will not impress the regulator if they are not relevant and up to date. The challenge in a smaller law firm is the recognition of this fact and the ability to put change into practice. This conference addresses many needs in that it will provide the delegate with a snapshot of current compliance thinking, an opportunity to look to the future, and allow for sense-checking and benchmarking and networking with colleagues in similar businesses.

Scenario based learning forms a big part of the programme. In your experience, how beneficial have you seen scenario learning to be?

The scenario based learning session will be one of the highlights of the conference for me. Putting compliance into practice always brings the subject alive and I think that delegates will enjoy the experience of being able to discuss these topics with colleagues in similar firms. Working through scenarios enables an individual to consider the practical and operational steps needed to manage a compliance risk.
What do you think is the biggest benefit people will get from attending Regulatory compliance for small law firms and alternative business structures?
The conference programme has been designed exclusively with the small firm’s needs in mind. Delegates will be hearing on some of the major topics which really matter if they are to enjoy a fuss-free relationship with their regulator. Not only will they hear from subject experts, the practical nature of the day and the interactive elements will ensure that they are able to benchmark their experiences against those of other delegates and have a networking forum with colleagues in similar firms.

Want to join Tracey and a host of compliance experts to benchmark your current practices with your peers?

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