in Legal Profession, Newly Qualified Solicitors

What does COLP and COFA mean?


These two new abbreviations came into being some years ago and relate to compliance with Financial Conduct, Money Laundering laws and a raft of other regulations. At a lot of law firms this person will be the senior partner, no doubt overjoyed at yet another excursion away from fee earning to ensure the SRA do not come knocking in future years, but larger law firms have managed to invent a whole new area of employment. This is where the COLP/COFA officer comes into being.

  • COLP stands for Compliance Officer for Legal Practice.
  • COFA stands for Compliance Officer for Finance and Administration.

I am not sure how much these two roles add to the future stability of the legal profession, but they are here to stay – training companies appear to be generating good business of the back of them –  so definitely worth knowing what they mean! Very often this is the same person, but occasionally two different people share the load or the firm have two separate specialists onsite.

Jonathan Fagan, Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment – specialist UK legal recruitment consultants.

Jonathan Fagan

Jonathan Fagan LLM FIRP is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. He has been recruiting solicitors and legal support staff for law firms and in house legal departments for over 20 years and handles roles from junior fee earners through to partners and law firm sales/purchases. A non-practising solicitor on the Roll since 2000, he is also the author of a number of legal career books, which are available at You can contact Jonathan at