Numerous professions are subject to regulatory oversight, whereby an official body will be responsible for investigating its members when allegations of regulatory breaches are made.
Commonly, these bodies will also be responsible for carrying out disciplinary proceedings and for sanctioning those found to have broken the rules. If you have been informed that you are going to be subject to an investigation by a professional regulator, Wilford Smith's Regulatory and Compliance Solicitors can provide you with the skills, knowledge and expertise you need to conduct a strong defence to any allegations.
We have many years experience acting on behalf of clients who have been accused of professional misconduct across a wide range of sectors and advising on the professional implications of an investigation. With your livelihood and reputation at stake, you need to ensure that your position is protected. Wilford Smith's Regulatory and Compliance Team can advise you on the best defence strategy, and can provide the highest quality representation when necessary. Speak to one of our solicitors today to find out how we can help.
What type of professions may be subject to regulatory and disciplinary oversight?
Registration with a regulatory body is a common requirement for professionals to be able to practise in a number of fields. The governing body will have the power to revoke a licence or registration if an investigation finds that its rules have been breached, or if it is shown that a professional is no longer fit to practise. Examples of professionals who are subject to such regulation include:
- Social workers
- Financial advisers
If you are practising in one of these professions and find yourself subject to an investigation into your conduct, the consequences can be serious. Such investigations can damage your personal and professional reputation, causing disruption to your career and putting the success of your business in jeopardy. By seeking expert legal guidance at the earliest stage of these proceedings, you will be best placed to limit the damage caused by an investigation, and will be able to conduct your dealings with investigators in the most appropriate way.
How is a regulatory or disciplinary investigation carried out?
Depending on the nature of your profession, your regulatory and disciplinary body will have its own particular way of carrying out its role. An investigation will usually be undertaken if concerns are raised about your suitability to practise, with the processes involved generally following in this way:
- The regulator looks into whether the allegations that have been made against you relate to your fitness to practise, or concern a breach of their code of conduct.
- Initial enquiries are carried out by the regulator. You will be informed about this in writing and may be offered the opportunity to respond to the allegations made against you.
- Evidence will be collected by investigators, with witness statements being taken and officials from the regulatory body liaising between the interested parties. You will normally be kept up to date with the progress of the investigation.
- Following the completion of the investigation, you will be afforded a set period in which to offer a written response.
- The regulator will review all the evidence alongside your written response and will decide if the case needs to be sent to a hearing or a tribunal.
This process can be an extremely challenging one for those under investigation, interrupting your day-to-day business as you are required to assist in the investigation by providing documents, attending interviews and offering responses to allegations made against you. Instructing a solicitor experienced in dealing with regulatory and disciplinary investigations can offer you peace of mind at a stressful time. You will have someone working on your behalf to ensure that your case is prepared in a comprehensive manner, ensuring that all relevant arguments are made on your behalf, as well as keeping you properly informed on the progress of the investigation.
Expert Regulatory & Disciplinary Investigation Advice in Sheffield and London
Wilford Smith’s solicitors will provide you with a service that is exceptionally strategic and results driven, ensuring that you are given clear, straightforward and jargon-free advice throughout any investigation. We understand how stressful it can be to come under investigation for your fitness to practise and we guarantee to fearlessly protect your livelihood and rights throughout any disciplinary process.
Our Regulatory and Compliance Solicitors are based in Sheffield and London and serve clients throughout England and Wales. Contact us today on 01709 828 044 to find out how we can help.