General statement on 'outsourcing'

The Society has seen an increase in the use of outsourcing by the profession and as a result has decided to generate this General Statement and additional Advice and Assistance.

Members are reminded of the need to comply with all relevant legislation, including Data Protection legislation and EU Anti-Competition legislation.

Outsourcing can also be referred to as sub-contracting and falls into two categories or types: outsourcing of (1) business operational functions such as HR, payroll and Cashroom and (2) aspects of legal service provision such as legal research and document production.

It is essential for members to remember that, whoever undertakes these functions, the obligation to meet regulatory requirements and professional rules continues to rest with them as members of the Society.  In addition, it is not permissible to outsource reserved matters unless to another entity regulated by the Society.

As a result, contractual arrangements with outsourced providers should ensure that they are required to comply with the Practice Rules.

In addition, it is essential to ensure that the Society continues to have access to all data, information and documents required for all regulatory inspection and compliance.  This includes access to confidential passwords and user names.