• A reputation for professional excellence with integrity

    A reputation for professional excellence with integrity

  • Accurate understanding and technical analysis

    Accurate understanding and technical analysis

  • National and International Experience

    National and International Experience

  • 34 years in private legal practice

    34 years in private legal practice

  • A focus on events and consequences, not gossip

    A focus on events and consequences, not gossip

  • Helping lawyers, brokers, accountants, surveyors and other professions

    Helping lawyers, brokers, accountants, surveyors and other professions

  • There when you need him

    There when you need him

Legal Viewpoint March 2018

19 Mar 18

Ethical Misbehaviour a new Regulatory Offence

The Court of Appeal has upheld that for professionals facing scrutiny by their regulators, acting with a ‘lack of integrity’ is a ‘nebulous’ but nevertheless qualitative type of unethical conduct distinguishable from dishonesty. in Wingate and Evans  v SRA; SRA V Malins [2018] EWCA Civ 366  the CA has rejected propositions that lack of integrity is synonymous with dishonesty, whatever English dictionary editors might say, and held the expression to be ““a useful shorthand to express the higher standards which society expects from professional persons”. Its tests are also entirely objective, while those for dishonesty require review of what the perpetrator in fact knew before then making objective assessments of whether an ordinary person would consider the conduct dishonest.

Taking Responsibility

The Supreme Court has made an important clarification of the law applicable to cases where a solicitor acting for one party might yet owe a duty of care and be responsible for the accuracy of statements they make which are relied on by another. There has been a long-established understanding that one party’s representatives don’t owe responsibilities to another party to a transaction; but that principle has been weakened in recent times by higher court decisions where such responsibilities have been held to be actionable in principle. In Steel v NRAM Ltd [2018 UKSC (28 February) https://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/uksc-2016-0111.html , a Scottish case but applicable in England, the SC has made clear that such right should only accrue if the claimant’s reliance on the misstatements was both reasonable in the circumstances, and foreseeable.

 

Back to News

Professional Risk Expertise

Mike Willis has worked with a diverse range of professions including...

The FMWL Approach …

  • Accurate understanding and technical analysis;
  • Focus on duty, causal event(s) and consequences; not gossip…
  • Sensitive but objective empathy;
  • Overarching commerciality; and
  • Clear aims, with vision where necessary to explore indirect routes to solutions.