Our specialist team of solicitors provides a wide range of advice and training to accountants and accounting firms on legal and regulatory issues.
Drawing on expertise from the firm’s various practice areas, we are able to work alongside, advise and assist accountants and accounting firms in relation to a number of areas:
Regulatory and civil defence
Our specialist accountancy defence lawyers are able to offer you advice and support should you be the subject of a complaint to, or an intervention from, your regulator. We have significant experience of defending accountants, auditors and insolvency practitioners before all of the UK accountancy regulatory bodies including:
- Financial Reporting Council (FRC);
- Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW);
- Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA);
- Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS);
- Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA);
- Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT);
- Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).
We also have a dedicated dispute resolution team which will deal with any associated professional negligence issues which may arise as a result of a regulatory investigation.
We advise firms of accountants and individual accountants on a number of employment issues, including:
- recruitment issues including examination/professional qualification performance and achievement;
- disciplinary and grievance issues, capability procedures and suspensions;
- flexible working and family friendly rights at work;
- business protection including confidentiality, restrictive covenants and 'team move' situations;
- sexual misconduct in the workplace (or outside) issues;
- allegations of bullying;
- remuneration and bonus disputes;
- data protection/GDPR issues;
- redundancies and re-structuring;
- dismissal/termination of employment;
- unfair dismissal, discrimination and whistleblowing claims;
- partnership/LLP Agreements;
- partnership/LLP terminations.
Our corporate team can assist individuals and firms in a number of ways, including:
Services for firms of accountants
- establishing the entities through which firms operate, and advising on their initial structure and funding;
- drafting the key agreements to govern the relationship between shareholders (if a company) or members (if an LLP), and advising generally on corporate governance in respect of such arrangements;
- advising the firm on corporate procedures or transactions, including on any sale of shares or assets, or on any restructuring;
- advising in relation to ongoing commercial matters, including on the drafting and negotiation of key contracts with suppliers and customers, the protection of intellectual property or on data protection/compliance issues.
Services for individuals
- advising on directors’ duties and liabilities for those involved in management of the firm, or in respect of their outside interests;
- advising on individual rights and duties as members or shareholders of the firm.
Our Immigration department has been advising accounting firms for many years and so understand the challenges they face. The team offer a high end to end service that includes:
- applying for a sponsor licence for accounting firms that wish to sponsor foreign nationals;
- assisting with the preparation and submission of Skilled Worker or ICT applications;
- taking overall control of the sponsor licence in order to report migrant activity, along with other key changes;
- carrying out compliance audits along with appropriate training;
- providing clear and strategic advice on any matter relating to UK Immigration law, to include issues relating to right to work checks;
- advising on permissible activities for those intending to visit the UK for business;
- working in association with our trusted partner network across the world to ensure that accountants and/or other relevant member of the business travelling to foreign jurisdictions has obtained the appropriate work permission.
For further information on our immigration services for accountants and accounting firms, contact Ilda de Sousa.
Our specialist investigations team regularly works alongside accountants, in particular audit, tax and forensic practitioners, in a variety of areas:
- fraud matters, particularly HMRC tax fraud investigations, furlough fraud investigations and corporate criminal offences;
- anti-money laundering issues (AML);
- coercive powers of law enforcement – search warrants, interviews and Judicial Review;
- bribery and corruption - including failure to prevent bribery;
- Criminal Finances Act proceedings – Asset Freezing & Forfeiture, Production orders and Unexplained Wealth Orders.
For further information on our investigation services for accountants and accounting firms, contact David Sleight.
Legal training for accountants and accountancy firms
We also provide training and advice on a number of topics relevant to the accountancy profession and the profession’s clients. These include:
- data protection, confidentiality, and disclosure obligations;
- crypto fraud issues and recovery;
- Directors’ duties;
- using shareholder agreements/articles as part of inheritance planning;
- effective drafting of terms of business and limitations of liability;
- professional conduct and ethical obligations, including conflicts;
- GDPR post-Brexit;
- Immigration options for HNW clients relocating to the UK.
Please contact one of the team to discuss any training needs you or your clients may have. We would be pleased to discuss a bespoke training package with you.
If you would like more information or require advice in relation to any of the above areas, please contact a member of our specialist team for accountants and accounting firms.
Corporate and Commercial
Partner and Head of Department