Important decision on privilege in a regulatory context

In a judgment handed down yesterday, the Court of Appeal found that an audit client could not be compelled to produce its privileged documents to its auditor’s regulator: Sports Direct International plc v The Financial Reporting Council [2020] EWCA Civ 177. The case concerned the construction of the Financial Reporting Council’s (“FRC“) information-gathering powers (specifically … Read more

The FRC and enforcement action – what next?

Over the last year, three key reports have been published on the future of the audit and accountancy professions. These reports together propose significant reforms to audit and the manner in which it is regulated, including the replacement of the Financial Reporting Council (the “FRC”) with a new regulator with enhanced powers.  While the reviews … Read more

High Court finds professional disciplinary process to be unlawful

In Captain Arshad Rashid v Oil Companies International Marine Forum [2019] EWHC 2239, the High Court criticised a voluntary association for unlawfully removing the accreditation of one of its inspectors, finding its disciplinary process to be inconsistent with the requirements of procedural fairness and in breach of contract. Key Points In the context of disciplinary processes conducted … Read more

No entitlement to demand a public disciplinary hearing

In ZAI Corporate Finance Limited v AIM Disciplinary Committee of the London Stock Exchange Plc (and London Stock Exchange Plc, interested party) [2017] EWCA Civ 1294, the Court of Appeal considered whether a disciplinary hearing should be conducted in public or private. Key Points Whether a hearing should be held in public or private depends on … Read more

Supreme Court considers sanctions powers of professional disciplinary tribunals

In Habib Khan v General Pharmaceutical Council [2016] UKSC 64, the Supreme Court has given important guidance on the approach to be taken by professional disciplinary tribunals to the exercise of sanctions powers. Although the Court acknowledged that this case only relates to the particular regulatory system relating to the disciplining of pharmacists, it recognised that … Read more