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Defence lawyers for accountants

Our lawyers have specialist experience of acting for Chartered Accountants and Registered Firms facing investigation, disciplinary hearings and audit registration hearings. We have experience of dealing with cases before the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). For immediate advice from one of our specialist lawyers call us on 01616 966 229.

Stephensons is recommended by the Legal 500 for professional disciplinary work. We are a national law firm with a network of offices, including London and Manchester, allowing us to act for clients nationwide. We appreciate the needs and anxieties of professional clients at risk of losing their professional status and their livelihood. We can guide you through the investigation and disciplinary process and advise on the best approach at each stage in order to protect your interests.

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Recent examples of our work in the accountancy sector include the following:

  • Defending a chartered accountant accused of dishonesty at a hearing before ACCA's disciplinary committee
  • Acting for an ACCA registered firm referred to the Admissions and Licensing Committee following unsatisfactory monitoring visits
  • Advising an ICAEW registered chartered accountant in relation to disciplinary proceedings following a high-profile criminal prosecution
  • Defending a chartered accountant at a hearing before CIMA’s disciplinary committee following a criminal conviction
  • Successfully appealing against an exclusion order imposed by ACCA's disciplinary committee
  • Providing compliance advice to an ICAEW registered firm regarding a change from LLP status to a limited company
  • Advising a chartered accountant during an investigation into serious audit-related misconduct following an ACCA monitoring visit

Under investigation

If you are under investigation by you professional body or you have been referred to a hearing, it is vital that you seek specialist legal representation to protect your interests. For our detailed guide to disciplinary proceedings within the accountancy sector, click here.  Practitioners can face a wide range of competence, conduct and certification issues. Investigations may focus on issues of professional misconduct, issues of professional competence and due care, issues with audit certification and compliance, scope of practice matters, criminal convictions and academic issues. The sanctions available to professional bodies are wide-ranging and include powers to exclude members, powers to restrict and/or withdraw audit certification, powers to impose fines, and to make compensation and/or costs orders.

Our specialist team have experience of the following matters:

  • Advice on regulatory compliance, including audit compliance (ISA, ISQC1 etc)
  • Assisting with written responses to requests for information
  • Assisting with written responses to investigating committees
  • Advising in relation to consent orders
  • Representation at disciplinary committee hearings
  • Assistance with audit registration cases before ACCA's Admissions & Licensing Committee and ICAEW's Audit Registration Committee.
  • Appeals against decisions

It is important that you seek specialist advice before responding to correspondence from your professional body. Any response which is made needs to be carefully considered in order to protect your interests and to avoid prejudicing your defence. For a confidential discussion regarding your case please contact our team on 01616 966 229 or alternatively complete our online enquiry form and a member of the team will contact you as a matter of urgency.

  • Professional Discipline & Fitness to Practise Lawyers

    Head of Regulatory Law Carl Johnson talks about the role his team take in professional discipline and fitness to practise issues. Carl discusses the sort of cases the team at Stephensons can handle, the possible outcomes of professional discipline investigations and why legal advice is vital.

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