Legal Sector

Taylorcocks provides specialist accountancy and taxation services to the legal sector. We provide a tailored accountancy and advisory service, that includes forensic accountancy and SRA client account audits.

forensic accountancy

In today’s changeable economic environment business disputes are becoming more frequent and litigation is on the increase. At taylorcocks we draw on the firm wide expertise of our accounting professionals to advise our clients in claims assessment and provide independent expert accounting witness services.

How we can help:

  • As expert accounting advisor working with our clients to pull together robust and persuasive claims, negotiating for settlement on our clients’ behalf through mediation or other negotiations process.
  • As independent expert accounting witness where our experts will assess quantum and simplify the complexities of our clients’ claims to assist courts and tribunals.

By instructing us early, we can save our clients time and cost by identifying the key issues, sources of evidence to substantiate claims and make sure nothing is overlooked or incorrectly stated. Our forensic specialists seek to prepare robust quantifications to substantiate simple yet persuasive reports. Not all disputes end up in a formal dispute resolution process and whilst we can provide expert evidence in those circumstances, we strongly believe in assisting our clients to obtain prior settlement, where possible, thus avoiding the costs of litigation and arbitration.

Our Forensic Services include advice and support during:

  • commercial disputes
  • matrimonial disputes
  • shareholder and valuation disputes
  • valuations for tax disputes

Specialist audits - solicitors accounts rules (sars) 2011

The rules governing audits of solicitors’ client accounts were changed to an “outcomes-focussed” approach in 2011.The Principles set out by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) apply to all aspects of practice, including the handling of client money.

These require solicitors to:

  • protect client money and assets;
  • act with integrity;
  • behave in a way that maintains the trust the public places in you and in the provision of legal services;
  • comply with your legal and regulatory obligations and deal with your regulators and ombudsmen in an open, timely and co-operative manner; and
  • run your business or carry out your role in the business effectively and in accordance with proper governance and sound financial and risk management principles.

The desired outcomes which apply to these rules are that:

  • client money is safe;
  • clients and the public have confidence that client money held by firms will be safe;
  • firms are managed in such a way, and with appropriate systems and procedures in place, so as to safeguard client money;
  • client accounts are used for appropriate purposes only; and
  • the SRA is aware of issues in a firm relevant to the protection of client money.

If at any time during an accounting period, a solicitor has held or received client money, or operated a client's own account as signatory, they must deliver to the SRA an accountant's report for that accounting period within six months of the end of the accounting period. This duty extends to the directors of a company, or the members of an LLP, which is subject to this rule.The rules for auditing client accounts and the format of the report are detailed and stringent. A checklist to the approved SRA format must also be completed.

Taylorcocks has the expertise to carry out the specialist audits, to identify any apparent or potential risks and prepare the prescribed reports for the SRA.

If you would like to talk to one of our SRA experts please contact us for a consultation.