Defending Accountants and Accounting Firms

‘knowledgeable about complex financial regulatory issues’. Legal 500 UK 2017

Faced with an ICAEW disciplinary, ACCA disciplinary, FRC disciplinary or other regulatory investigation? We understand that circumstances can arise in life which could put your professional registration in jeopardy and the distress this can cause to you and your family.

Our Regulatory team, which is top ranked in two of the UK’s leading legal directories, Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession and the Legal 500, acts for accountancy firms, accountants and provisional members in relation to a wide range of regulatory and disciplinary issues, including:

  • disciplinary investigations and interviews
  • disciplinary committee hearings
  • appeal committee hearings
  • responding to requests for information
  • audit committee proceedings
  • practising certificate and other regulatory requirements

We offer a dedicated and compassionate service designed to ensure that you are properly guided through the nuances of this area of law. Our clear, practical advice will enable you to understand your options at each stage of the process and to devise a strategy for you.

Financial Reporting Council (FRC) Investigations

Our specialist team has significant experience in Financial Reporting Council (FRC) investigations. We can advise you or your firm in relation to proceedings under the FRC’s Accountancy Scheme or the FRC’s Audit Enforcement Procedure.

We are excellently placed to support you through all aspects of an FRC investigation, including:

  • advising on the FRC disciplinary process and the FRC’s powers
  • preparing for and representation at an FRC interview
  • responding to a Proposed Formal Complaint
  • negotiating an FRC settlement
  • preparation for an FRC disciplinary tribunal hearing
  • representation before the FRC Disciplinary Tribunal
  • advising on any publicity that may arise from FRC proceedings

Proceedings before other accountancy bodies

We have substantial experience in defending Chartered Accountants, provisional members and accountancy firms before their professional bodies, some of which include:

We can also advise on any regulatory issues that may arise, including audit registration matters, practising certificate requirements, applications for membership, training responsibilities and disclosing convictions or adverse findings to your regulator.

Recent work

  • Successfully defended ICAEW disciplinary proceedings in relation to the application of the practising certificates regime to accountants.
  • Advising an ICAEW registered accountant in FRC proceedings involving international regulators.
  • Providing advice to a CIMA member in proceedings brought before CIMA’s Disciplinary Committee.
  • Providing advice to an ICAEW regulated audit firm in relation to proceedings brought before ICAEW’s Audit Committee.
  • Advising Chief Financial Officers in proceedings brought by CIPFA.
  • Advising ACCA members in relation to Disciplinary Committee proceedings.
  • Advising ACCA registered audit firms on proceedings brought by the Admissions and Licensing Committee of the ACCA.
  • Providing advice and guidance to several FCA Approved Persons/ Senior Managers/ Certified Persons in relation to their regulatory responsibilities and compliance with APER and COCON.
  • Advising a private equity administration firm on the regulatory requirements for employees to hold practising certificates with the ICAEW.
  • Defending accountants in relation to ICAEW disciplinary proceedings
  • Advising an accountant in relation to an ACCA Appeal Committee hearing
  • Advising ACCA and ICAEW members on obligations regarding the disclosure of criminal proceedings
  • Advising an accountancy firm in relation to an ICAEW investigation
  • Advising an ACCA registered accountant in relation to an FRC investigation


Defending Accountants and Accounting Firms Comment

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Top tips for managing an accountancy disciplinary investigation

Revised ICAEW Disciplinary Bye-laws introduce new fitness proceedings

Adverse employment disciplinary findings do not spell the end of your career

ICAEW takes a dim view of failure to comply with an investigation

Professional regulatory hearings - looking ahead to 2016

Case update: A salutary reminder to regulated professionals and students on the use of social media

Professionals: beware the excesses of the Christmas party…

Senior Managers and Certification Regime - FCA focuses on enforcement and DEPP

Successful challenge to FCA prohibition order

Case update: Upper Tribunal finds FCA sanction was not commensurate with facts found proved by FCA (then the FSA) and reduces financial penalty imposed

Holding individuals to account in financial services - unexpected shift in burden of proof

Financial Reporting Council demonstrates its strong stance on dishonesty

A tax advisor's professional responsibilities

Senior Managers Regime: Tougher regulation of senior bankers and non-executive directors (NEDs) confirmed

HMRC increasingly takes criminal prosecution route

New offence of “Reckless management of a bank” – will it be effective? And what are the risks?

Regulators ask banks for better protection for whistleblowers…but can the Regulators maintain it?

Financial services: Penalties for manipulation in five additional benchmarks – Consultation announced

Gold Fix Manipulation – FCA says it is possible but “no clear evidence”

The end of the silver fix – has the LIBOR affair destroyed trust in all banking benchmarks?

What type of case will result in the first Deferred Prosecution Agreement?

The FCA publishes draconian new “name and shame” powers

Deferred Prosecution Agreements: proposal on how “peculiarly British” DPAs will work in practice

First FCA fine imposed as they continue FSAs work in sanctioning banks for money laundering failings

UK Financial regulatory landscape: A quick guide to the new Financial Conduct Authority, Prudential Regulation Authority & Financial Policy Committee

More criminal prosecutions planned for tax evasion: investors beware, there is no ‘fuzzy line’

Corporate self-reporting corruption and fraud to the SFO: can you avoid prosecution in the David Green QC era?

The Serious Fraud Office and self-reporting: recalibrating the risk

Deferred Prosecution Agreements - certainty for corporates?

Deferred Prosecution Agreements - a lost opportunity?

Serious Fraud Office: increased use of restraint expected

FSA’s AML thematic review gets a new scalp - Turkish Bank (UK) Ltd fined £294,000 for money laundering failings

The SFO: turning around the nightmare on Elm Street?

The FCA and the future of credible deterrence in the financial markets

The Serious Fraud Office sees the light (again)

Internal investigations - trending now!

FSA - another bank fined for money-laundering failings

Search and seizure: cash can be seized without the need to explain the reason

Deferred prosecution agreements - the road ahead?

David Green’s early challenges as new SFO Director

National Fraud Indicator records annual losses of £73bn

Is there "fairness" in the FSA's publication of its Decision Notices?

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