To become a competent costs lawyer it is essential to have an understanding of the Solicitors Accounts Rules, Money Laundering and Value Added Tax (VAT). It is also essential to understand how an independent Costs Lawyer must treat client money. In this module of the course trainees will learn to give guidance on the Solicitors Accounts Rules, understand the relevant provisions of the Costs Lawyer Code of Conduct in respect of legal accounts, Money Laundering and VAT. This module will also cover the principles of book keeping and financial services rules.
Upon completion of this module a trainee should be able to:
- Understand the importance of complying with the Solicitors Accounts Rules and the powers of the SRA to secure compliance
- Distinguish between client money from firm (or office) money.
- Apply the Rules regarding the handling of client money, the timing for recording client transactions and interest on client money
- Apply the Rules in relation to Money Laundering and identify the areas of risk in relation to money laundering
- Identify key control features of the client accounting system, understand and practically interpret a “client ledger” and understand the principles of book keeping
- Understand the application of VAT and the financial services rules
- Apply the Costs Lawyer Code of Conduct in relation to client money