The UK has published the final version of the updated regulations for UK Mandatory Disclosure Rules (MDR). These regulations will come into force on 28 March 2023, and any arrangements entered into on or after this date will need to be reported to HMRC under these rules. The new MDR rules will replace the existing DAC6 regulations, though HMRC have confirmed that the DAC6 reporting portal will remain open for another month to allow arrangements entered before 28 March to be reported under DAC6.

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What are SLAPPs (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation)?

SLAPPs (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) are lawsuits that are filed with the intention of silencing, intimidating, or punishing individuals or organizations for exercising their right to free speech on matters of public concern. These lawsuits are often brought by private parties, such as corporations or individuals, against individuals or organizations that have spoken out against them or their activities.

The SRAs new warning notice on SLAPPs

Recently, the SRA issued a new warning notice on SLAPPs, in response to reports that solicitors are bringing allegations without merit at the behest of wealthy clients to stifle freedom of expression and prevent the media from reporting on issues of public interest such as academic research, whistleblowing, campaigning or investigative journalism.

The warning notice makes clear that acting in this way would constitute a breach of a number of SRA Principles and Rules in its Code of Conduct for Individuals and Firms. 

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Domestic abuse can take many different forms and is not always easy to spot – in fact, even the person on the receiving end themselves may not recognise it for what it is. There can be many reasons why people experiencing domestic abuse are reluctant to speak up or seek help, from fears around their personal safety to concerns about being judged by their friends and family, employer or colleagues.

With many people working from home for a protracted period during the Covid pandemic, instances of domestic abuse have increased dramatically and had a devastating impact both on employees’ physical and mental health and on their performance at work. Being able to spot where domestic abuse may be occurring and taking appropriate action to protect and support their staff is therefore a crucial aspect of employers’ duty of care. 

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Using conditional descriptions to offer translations

Multi-national businesses regularly send forms to suppliers, clients, staff and contractors across the globe. The challenge is ensuring that each end user is seeing the form that is most relevant to their role, jurisdiction and, of course, their native language. Most businesses have tried to tackle this by either sending a list of forms for them to choose from or preparing multiple forms and sending the one most relevant to each user. But there is a better way. With Omnitrack’s versatile conditional logic, you can easily build each language into the form.

How to use conditional descriptions for translations

Step 1: Add a drop-down question

Creating translation field in Omnitrack
  1. Click “Add question”
  2. Select “Drop down” 
  3. Create a “Select your language” drop down

We recommend setting a default value. If most of your end users’ language is English, make English your default value.

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Screenshot of our interactive market abuse training

It is fairly easy for firms involved in the financial markets to get caught up in illegal market abuse practices without even realising it. The temptation is great for staff members to trade on insider information or exploit the firm’s resources to try to manipulate the market. In many cases, the lines between what is acceptable and not are grey and unclear. 

VinciWorks’ new course Fraud & Market Abuse – Fundamental concepts trains staff on the concepts and rules of market abuse and fraud. It focuses on the Market Abuse Regulation 2016 (MAR), a European directive that establishes a common regulatory framework on insider dealing, market manipulation and measures to prevent market abuse across the EU. This course goes through the different types of permitted and forbidden behaviours to clarify what can and can’t be done, and under what circumstances. 

Course features:

  • Customisable training with the option to include or remove topics for different audiences
  • Interactive learning built-in throughout the course, with the ability for the administrators to track responses in order to gain insights into users’ grasp of the topics
  • Includes essential definitions and concepts as well as an overview of relevant laws and regulations
  • Includes review questions
  • Eye-catching design and an easy-to-use experience
  • Smooth, user-friendly scroll design

Learning outcomes:

  • Understand UK market abuse laws and regulations
  • Gain familiarity with the dangers of insider information
  • Clarify important concepts regarding the working of financial markets
  • Recognise red flags and reporting procedures
  • Identify illegal or risky market procedures

Preview course

Law firms are required to conduct risk assessments, client due diligence (CDD) and ongoing monitoring on their clients. The precise processes for CDD and risk assessments are often complex and vary greatly, depending on industry and jurisdiction. 

What is the problem?

The Fourth Money Laundering Directive, which came into force in 2017, introduced a heavy emphasis on employing a risk-based approach to money laundering. This puts a certain degree of the onus of identifying and prioritising risks on law firms. Firms often struggle with systemising risk scoring and ensuring high-risk clients are automatically flagged based on their scores. Being able to define your firm’s own scoring system will help ensure firm-wide consistency and that nothing falls through the cracks. 

How do we solve it?

In our latest update to the anti-money laundering onboarding solution, we’ve added a new function which allows users to create dynamic scoring fields in their forms, enabling them to add/multiply/divide/subtract the value of two or more fields. For example, you can now add scoring to the risk assessment section of your client’s onboarding form. A risk score can then be automatically calculated for each risk area. Lawyers can assess their prospective client’s risk level, with the MLRO or Compliance Officer being able to easily review risk scores, and update the scores should they deem it necessary. Note, our AML onboarding clients receive a bespoke system that will come built with the risk scoring feature already enabled.

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Gif showing Omnitrack scoring

Omnitrack, our reporting and tracking solution, is continuously being updated and improved to bring the best experience to our end-users. In our latest update, we’ve added a new field type which allows users to create dynamic scoring fields in their forms, enabling them to add/multiply/divide/subtract the value of two or more fields. For example, you could create a risk assessment form that asks a series of risk-related questions and generates a score based on a user’s responses.

How to calculate risk scores with Omnitrack

Step 1: Add a scoring field

Add a scoring field to your form by:

  1. Clicking “Edit form”
  2. Click “Add question”
  3. Scroll down to the complex field section and select “Scoring field”.
Example of adding a scoring field
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What is neurodiversity?

Neurodiversity is an umbrella term used to refer to the variation in the human brain with regards to social interaction, learning, attention, mood and other brain functions, and can cover a range of conditions. Recent studies suggest that 1 in 10 people in the UK are neurodivergent, meaning that organisations that fail to meet the needs of their neurodivergent staff, customers and service users are neglecting a significant demographic.

Why should you train employees in workplace neurodiversity?

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Part of VinciWorks’ SRA Compliance Suite: record and track all undertakings in one location 

The VinciWorks’ SRA Compliance Suite is hosted in Omnitrack, a powerful yet flexible data collection and reporting tool. Established use cases in the SRA Compliance suite include a Regulatory Breaches Register, a Conflicts Register, a File Review process and more. The SRA suite also includes the Undertakings Register, a centralised tool to record, review and track all solicitor undertakings, ensuring staff receive reminders to fulfil all obligations which have yet to be discharged.

Before we take a closer look at the Omnitrack Undertaking Register, this blog will recap the definition of solicitors’ undertakings and look at some of the consequences of failing to complete them. 

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