In its Policy Statement published on Friday, the FCA has confirmed that Head of Legal will be excluded from the requirement to be a Senior Manager, although will be subject to the Conduct Rules.
This will be a welcome confirmation for firms caught in the regime. However this does not address the challenges that a Senior Manager with responsibility for the Head of Legal may face discharging his/her duty of responsibility without breaching legal privilege.
The FCA also confirmed that it will narrow the scope of the client dealing function to exclude staff whose interaction with clients is purely administrative.
See further thoughts on the Policy Statement in John Drabble's post here: https://www.kemplittle.com/blog/smcr-head-of-legal-client-dealing-function/
See the Policy Statement here: https://www.fca.org.uk/publication/policy/ps19-20.pdf
FCA states that its view “remains that the benefits that normally result from applying the SMR will be substantially reduced by the restrictions arising from legal privilege. The remaining benefits are not sufficient to justify applying it.”