Managing risk in virtual client meetings

  • Describe the challenges of bringing in clients virtually
  • Explain the ID risks involved
  • Explain the procedure for assessing mental capacity

Services such as Alpha Legal now offer a safe and secure electronic solution for obtaining client ID, onboarding documentation, and communication throughout a client’s journey.

This service provides for the secure, encrypted transfer of documents, correspondence, and client data supported by two-factor authentication.

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Avoiding costly postal delays and unsecure emails can only benefit both the client and the professional. 

When thinking about managing risk, GDPR compliance should always also be at the forefront of our minds. How much easier would it be to show GDPR compliance if all your files are electronic, all in one place and backed up by a full and transparent audit trail?

Not only do electronic files de-risk, they save time, space, and money, and help you to be more competitive in the marketplace.

Client capacity

Capacity is paramount when taking any instructions from a client for any sort of work, but what should we be looking out for when it comes to assessing a client’s capacity virtually and how can we manage this risk?

There are several different illnesses that are recognised as being capable of affecting capacity, so it is always worth being up to date with this list so that you are familiar with the warning signs and if an illness is mentioned to you, you are already aware that it could be affecting the client’s capacity to make decisions for themselves.

Bear in mind that this list is extensive, so the client may not be aware themselves that the illness could be affecting their capacity, and it is always best to approach the subject of a client’s capacity with caution. 

When there is any uncertainty regarding capacity, it is recommended within the industry to obtain a mental capacity assessment from a medical professional before proceeding to take instructions from the client. For everyone involved, it is better to be safe than sorry. 

There is usually a cost associated with obtaining an assessment through a private company (unless one is carried out by a GP free of charge). A mental capacity assessment can effectively mitigate not only the risk of a third-party contesting the client’s instructions but can also reduce the costs involved in dealing with any such challenge.

Having a mental capacity assessment with detailed file and attendance notes from all client meetings can prove invaluable, even where the risk of a lack of capacity is low. 

These assessments may also be carried out virtually, easily, and quickly further minimising the risk to more vulnerable clients, without adding big delays to the work you are doing for them.