• 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 June 2018

20 Jun 18

Exemplary situations of risk or crisis. This month:

Be Clear What You Ask For..

I have written before how it’s not unusual for a claim to be expressed too unclearly for the target firm to understand the case being made against it; and courts’ and regulators’ attitudes to rules requiring claimants to set out their case properly seem to be more relaxed these days than those for procedural or timetable compliance. Similar difficulties can arise for firms facing a hostile enquiry or investigation. My own recent experience includes a claim against brokers for lack of applicable cover, where the parties’ positions as to what sort of insurance product should have been obtained were very different;  and an ill-fated property transaction where the claimant was concerned about the completion of their purchase, but the defendant saw the problem as having arisen from the sale contract. Disciplinary investigations are particularly prone to these sorts of misunderstanding, because regulators, often following up generic concerns without detailed knowledge, are not clear themselves what they’re looking for. The respondent may apprehend criticisms for mismanagement of their file, accounts, or conflicting interests, whereas the regulator’s agenda is to inhibit a crime ring or money laundering operation.

The point is, for many civil claims as well as disciplinary  investigations, what drives the matter is the appearance or possibility of financial or reputational losers, and processes are freely allowed against any professional service firm involved in the story, with less strict heed to their duties  and the causal connections between alleged wrongdoing and loss.  Professionals must keep constantly vigilant to ensure there are no victims of wrongdoing on their ‘watch’, whether or not they are clients.

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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.