Global legal services business, Clifford Chance, has now formally launched its SMCR Manager, a digital, interactive tool supporting SMCR compliance, in what is the first product to launch from Clifford Chance Applied Solutions, its internal legal tech group.
And, for people who don’t avidly follow compliance issues, the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SMCR) will replace the Approved Persons Regime in December 2019 for FCA solo regulated firms including brokers, financial advisers, private equity firms, fund managers and investment managers. So, there you go.
But, perhaps of more interest to readers is that CC has built a major new product, which appears to involve a variety of tech, from more basic stuff such as checklists, to automated workflows and expert systems. All in all it’s quite a package, and reminds Artificial Lawyer a bit of some of the products provided by Allen & Overy’s AOSphere.
Is this a big deal? Well, it shows that law firms – at least of CC’s and Allen & Overy’s size – can produce very comprehensive legal tech-based solutions for key parts of their client base.
It also means that we are looking at a market scenario now where a law firm’s tech capabilities in terms of productising and production of legal tech tools will become a significant factor in their success.
In short, law firms are becoming, just a little bit, like tech companies in their own right. And that’s an exciting development.
Check out the intro video here:
Chinwe Odimba-Chapman, a partner in Clifford Chance’s Employment group said: ‘The aim of the SMCR is to reduce harm to consumers and strengthen market integrity by making firms and individuals at those firms more accountable for their conduct and competence. It represents a fundamental shift in the UK’s financial services sector, enhancing and extending obligations for financial services businesses to adhere to the minimum standards of behaviour.’
‘From December, individuals in regulated firms will be subject to increased administrative and regulatory requirements and heightened expectations as to how they conduct themselves, and they will need to be prepared.’
Jeroen Plink, CEO of Clifford Chance Applied Solutions, added: ‘With SMCR Manager, our legal teams and technology specialists work hand in hand to solve this complex challenge for our clients and I’m thrilled to see the product launch today.’
And, Clifford Chance’s Global Head of Innovation and Business Change, Bas Boris Visser, concluded: ‘Innovation and Best Delivery is a key component of our strategic goal of delivering an outstanding client service experience. The launch of this first product from Clifford Chance Applied Solutions demonstrates the pace of progress as we blend technology and legal expertise to help clients navigate the ever-changing regulatory landscape.”