21THIRTY - BUSINESS CONTINUITY
It's not all about disasters
Business continuity, often called disaster recovery, is rarely about coping with a major crisis. In a business context, it can be as simple as a power outage, snow or high staff illness due to flu or a virulent virus. It is any incident which threatens your ability to deliver a service to your clients and therefore your business.
We have been there, seen it and done it. Our experience includes relocating 100 people within 24 hours following a flood and managing reinstatement work so they could return within 2 weeks, all during a client audit. We know the importance of planning and getting it right.
Failing to identify and plan for how you would deal with such an incident could be professional suicide, especially if you can't function during the disruption and return to "business as usual" as soon as possible afterwards. Worse, in some professions, it can also constitute a breach of your professional rules.
Business continuity in the legal profession
Chapter 7 of the SRA handbook details the outcomes required to deal with the
management of your business.
You must achieve these outcomes, which include, at O(7.3) identifying, monitoring and managing risks to compliance with all
the Principles, rules and outcomes and
other requirements of the Handbook, if applicable to you, and taking steps to
address issues identified.
The indicative behaviours for Chapter 7 explain the ways that you can act to show
that you have achieved these outcomes and therefore complied with the Principles. In the context of Chapter 7, IB(7.3) says that identifying and monitoring business continuity risks including those relating to matters such as data protection, IT failures and abuses, and damage to offices will show compliance. IB(7.4) says that making arrangements for the continuation of your firm in the event of absences and emergencies with the minimum interruption to clients' business will do likewise.