• 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

Telling Tales July 2018

21 Jul 18

The Ethical Balances of Regulation

The divisions of opinion about the ideologies of the ‘outcome focus’ of the modern regulatory environment seem to match those in many other prominent debates:  Brexit; the ‘spirit of cricket’; dress codes in private clubs, or whatever. For some, they are simply life hazards, beyond practical control; but for others they are an intolerable shift of commercial or personal sovereignty to the whims of other people’s interpretations of wish-wash guidelines, usually warped by hindsight. Respect for law or institutions becomes replaced by distrustful submission to the caprices of people with power. For a society like Britain’s, which traditionally has raised its children to the habits and myth that anything is allowed unless legally forbidden, the transitions to new regulatory environments, where everything is prohibited unless it is - retrospectively and bureaucratically – adjudged to be allowed, can be mystifying as well as painful.

The confusion affects both sides. Officious stewards or rules enforcers no longer enjoy the certainties of a chapter-and-verse code book to back them up and often still struggle with the vital priorities of always explaining as well as delivering their service, always with a smile, and always with a positive mindset to improve the experience of the patrons they patrol.

The news is therefore to be welcomed that at last an independent review of regulation of the legal industry, with a broad remit to explore the optimum balances between the competing pressures of law firms’ commerciality, clients’ and public expectations and resources, and proportionate regulation and supervision,  is to be undertaken by University College London’s Centre for Ethics & Laws, headed by Professor Stephen Mayson, a respected commentator. A government-led review was initiated in 2016 but had to be shelved because of Brexit.  

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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.