Comprehensive support and advice for professional services firms, covering all aspects of their regulated business.
Our Professional Practices group focuses on the regulated activities of professional services firms.
Our work covers the spectrum from perimeter advice and firm formation through to regulatory investigations and proceedings before disciplinary tribunals.
We concentrate on four sectors: legal services, accountants, healthcare and construction professionals.
We have extensive experience of the regulators operating in these sectors, including:
- Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)
- Bar Standards Board (BSB)
- Financial Reporting Council (FRC)
- Institute of Chartered Accountants of England & Wales (ICAEW)
- Architects Registration Board (ARB)
- Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
- Emergencies: clients come to us with their problems and crises because we are independent, responsive, experienced and trusted. We’ve seen it all before: the discovery of the rogue partner, the data breach incident, the dawn raid or the regulator’s demands for the immediate production of client documents. We can be there to assist 24/7 and we are confident your professional indemnity insurers will know us well.
- Self-reports and investigations: We regularly advise clients on their obligations to self-report, we carry out internal investigations and we act on their behalf when responding to regulators' enquiries.
- Disciplinary proceedings: We have extensive experience of client representation before the disciplinary tribunals in our targeted sectors.
- Networks, referrals and relationships: Relationships with others are vital to the financial success of professional practices. We advise on and draft: collaboration agreements between firms and across borders; referral fees and introduction arrangements; governance and liability protections for networks of firms; outside counsel guidelines and service level agreements.
- Risk & Compliance: We act as the trusted adviser to the heads of risk in numerous professional services firms. We draft policies and audit compliance arrangements. We can talk risk without losing sight of practicality and commerciality. We can be a second set of eyes, a sounding-board for a tricky problem or even your outsourced general counsel.
- Perimeter advice and firm set-up: We have set up some of the most innovative structures for professional firms, especially in the legal services sector. We can also assist with regulatory authorisations, governance arrangements and due diligence on laterals.
Examples of work
- Disputes concerning client legal professional privilege entitlements in the context of compelled disclosure sought by the FRC, the SRA and HMRC
- Turning accountancy firms, in-house legal teams and insurance companies into law firms
- Acting for law firms in connection with complex anti-money laundering and client due diligence issues
- Advising professional services firms on self-reporting and #MeToo issues
- Advising funders, funded firms and claims management companies concerning the regulation of litigation funding
- Advising on data and confidential information flows between collaborating firms within England & Wales and across different jurisdictions