External examination (EE) reports
The Society acknowledges the impact that COVID-19 will have on law practices over the coming months. Many law practice offices may be closed as staff are encouraged to work from home in line with social-distancing requirements. It is understood that this is likely to present difficulties for practices in allowing their appointed external examiner the physical access required to highly confidential trust accounting records and related files often kept in law practice offices. These files often cannot be removed from offices and are necessary for external examiners to carry out the annual review required under the Legal Profession Act 2006.
In light of these circumstances, the Council of the Society has adopted a policy that it will not take regulatory action in relation to law practices which submit their EE report by 1 September 2020, being within 3 months of the due date of 1 June 2020. Law practices are encouraged to comply with the current due date where possible but this concession is effective immediately and will be subject to review as the COVID-19 situation develops.