The Duties And Responsibilities Of COLP
- Datalaw Admin
- Jun 17, 2019
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THE acronym COLP stand for (compliance officers for legal practice). It is a body of officials whose aim are to ensure that a company or organisation is conducting it businesses within the jurisdiction of all international and national laws that guide the particular company, including all internal and professional standards, accepted business practices that the company are legally bounded to function within. It’s very safe and mandatory for companies to operate within the rules and regulations of COLP in order to avoid possible lawsuits, efficiently manage the possible risk that might arise within the company’s practices and to safeguard the company’s image and public the reputation which is very pertinent if a company is to actualize its full potential. The compliance officer (COLP) ensure that a company is legally and ethically guided, it educates the company entire practices in order to achieve the highest level of compliance from the company. In fact without a compliance officer (COLP) a company cannot achieve an effective and efficient stated compliance programme.
The compliance officer which could either be a COLP ( compliance officer for legal practices) or COFA ( compliance officer for finance and administration) have two levels of responsibilities:
o 1st level – to help the company to comply with the external rules and regulations that are imposed on the company
o 2nd level of responsibility – to help the company comply with the internal rules and regulations which in turn to maintain the external system of control imposed on the company.
The duties or roles of COLP( COFA and COLP have similar agenda that of ensuring that companies and firm comply with the stated legal guidelines) are as follows:
v They are to ensure that a company or an organisation are in full Accord with the SRA account rules
v Record and report any Company that defaults with their rule and regulation to the SRA
v They are to also report cases of material breaches to the SRA. A breach is said to be material when; a company risk management is detrimental to a client whose cases is been handle when the risk results in the loss of confidence on the legal practitioner or as a legal firm there is losing confidence in its ability to deliver and provide legal services, when the risk level has exceeded a certain scale of reference, when the risk has an overall impact in the third parties involved, the clients involved, and its legal practice. A COLP officer can term a breach as non-material when the risk is at minimum, or he can seek the help of his partner in cross-examine the degree of the risk, or he can seek the help of an expert, an SRA's professional ethics department representative, or a local law society if they have a provision for that or even an accountant in term of financial.
v A COLP personnel should always have a comprehensive and complete record of breach of material no matter how minimum it is as this will serve as it’s cornerstone when required in matters involving defence
v They are to report to the SRA when a company or firm is in a difficult financial and management state. The SRA has outlined three warming sign that can be used to asses a company risk level, they are; when then the company profit has exceeded a certain threshold limit when their borrowing has exceeded their net assets and when they have exceeded their borrowing limits. Firm who are guilty of the three warming sign are given a red rating, those with just one are given an Amber colour rating, those without any are given a green rating. A company or a firm can be given the green rating if the ensure to do and keep the following:
Ø That their clients account reconciliation is prepared regularly on a monthly basis
Ø Do a regular monthly reconciliation of their office bank account statement
Ø Always ensure that their client's bank account is clearly written and titled
Ø Carry out a review of their clients listings balance in cases of any overdrawn in a client account
Ø Examine and review the office listings balances in case of any overdrawn account that may need to balance the clients account
Ø Examine any malicious or miscellaneous account balances
Ø Regularly examination of the office and clients ledger statement
When all these are done a company COLP’S officer will definitely score the company a pass mark and it will help to boost and maintain their public reputation and their stand will be improved to a great extent