Investigation by a Regulator

Investigation by a Regulator

Being the subject of an investigation is never pleasant and can be extremely time consuming and costly, especially if your firm is found to have been in breach of regulatory provisions.

Whilst the best advice is always to avoid an investigation, this is not always possible and, with regulations affecting all lawyers becoming ever more complex, the opportunity to fall foul of your regulator is always there.

The Lawyers Defence Group can help you to deal with an investigation – whether it be by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, The Council for Licensed Conveyancers, the Financial Care Authority or another regulator.

In the early stages of an investigation, advice is often needed in the hope that matters can be brought to a swift and effective early conclusion. Sometimes this is possible even to the extent that a prosecution can be avoided.

Nearly all investigations involve an interview of some kind or another and a client will be particularly vulnerable if they are not represented at that early stage. Many cases are lost and won on the basis of what is or is not said in those early exchanges.

Generally speaking, cases are won and lost on preparation. We prepare cases for written submissions and for hearings and will often analyse large volumes of evidence during the course of this, as well as trace and interview witnesses who will be helpful to the case.

We can provide you with guidance as to what to expect, what to do and what not to do during the investigation and, in the event that the investigation reveals that there has been a regulatory or other breach, we can assist you by:

  • helping to put right any identified shortcomings within your practice;
  • dealing with problems with or amongst members, partners and staff;
  • representing you in relation to any subsequent negotiations with the regulator – e.g. whether to enter into a regulatory settlement agreement; or
  • representing you when defending any proceedings that may arise – e.g. before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.

For further information, contact the Lawyers Defence Group by:

  • telephoning during office hours – 0845 216 2000,
  • requesting a call-back using the call-back request form to the right,
  • telephoning our out of hours number (but please only in an emergency – for example when someone has been arrested or you believe that your firm might be about to be intervened in) 07952 861 868,
  • emailing us at help@lawyersdefencegroup.org.uk, or
  • writing to us at one of the addresses at the bottom of this web page.