Saturday, October 08, 2011

Fighting Between Accountants and Lawyers Breaks Out on Damp Squib Day!


A real fight has broken out between accountants and lawyers (reported in Accountancy Age) and it's going to be bloody. That's the sort of thing that happens on damp squib day (October 6, 2011) when alternative business structures don't quite happen.

The chief executive of the Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales, Michael Izza, has written a strong letter to Des Hudson, chief executive of the Law Society (a former sparring partner of mine).

Izza told Hudson that the Law Society must not restrict lawyers and accountants from working together now the Legal Services Act has blessed such unions.
Izza claimed that current Law Society guidance restricts lawyers and solicitors working together in MDPs, warning that its updated guidance in response to the Act must take a different stance.
"To ensure the orderly and desirable development of multi-disciplinary practices, I suggest the Law Society staff with responsibility for this work commence discussion with ICAEW staff before drafting becomes too advanced."
I was surprised to read this as I thought the MDP battle was long over. It appears not. Why the Law Society might be objecting to MDPs is a mystery. Have they forgotten Cnut? While the ICAEW isn't an approved regulator by the Legal Services Board, the Scottish Institute is as is the Certified Accountants association. Accountants are part of the regulatory and professional services scene and to attempt to exclude them is retrograde and, frankly, silly.

The Law Society is taking on the accountants on too many fronts and it's going to lose. This battle is long gone. The Law Society should be focusing on the privilege battle with accountants, but I suspect it will lose that one too. Surely the Law Society can behave in a more grown up way?


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1 comment:

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