If the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) receives a complaint about you, you may be asked to provide information to aid the investigation. Do not respond without getting expert legal advice first. What you say could have a major impact on the outcome of your case.
Complaints to the ICAEW
If a client is dissatisfied with your conduct as a chartered accountant, he/she may submit a complaint to the ICAEW. The Institute must review this complaint to see whether or not you breached any ICAEW standards, guidance or regulations.
As part of this review process, it is very likely that ICAEW will contact you, asking for information. This may be the first you realise that a complaint has been made against you.
Get expert legal advice
Before responding to ICAEW, we urge you to contact us for expert legal advice. The request from ICAEW may seem simple enough. However, you must be extremely circumspect about what you say. The information you provide could determine the assessment team’s next steps.
If you offer a satisfactory explanation for your actions, and highlight how you upheld the standards expected of a chartered accountant, disciplinary proceedings may be avoided. The assessment team may decide that there are no grounds for complaint and drop the case against you.
Alternatively, the assessment team may decide that while disciplinary proceedings are not necessary, it is appropriate to refer your case to alternative dispute resolution instead. This will lead to a process called conciliation, in which you and the complainant attempt to come to a mutually agreeable solution.
Conciliation is far more preferable than disciplinary action. It has a good success rate, with ICAEW stating that 90% of cases referred for conciliation are resolved. This reduces the amount of time, stress and money you must spend on the dispute. It also ensures disciplinary action in relation to the complaint cannot be taken against you, eliminating the threat of sanctions.
How can we help?
We offer legal advice and support to ICAEW members whose conduct has been called into question. If ICAEW asks you for information about your actions, contact us straightaway. We can explain what to do.
After reviewing the facts, we can draft a response to ICAEW on your behalf. We apply our in-depth knowledge of the regulatory requirements to your case, setting out how your behaviour met the standards expected of the profession.
We know that having a complaint made against you is a concern. However, with the right action, it is possible to prevent the matter from escalating.
Contact us now
“Following an investigation into a breach of audit regulations I was facing a disciplinary hearing by my regulatory body, The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
At that point I approached Jon for his advice. From the outset I knew I had made the right decision to appoint him. Not only was he very knowledgeable of disciplinary proceedings, he was also supportive during an extremely stressful time.
Throughout the hearing Jon’s skills as an experienced advocate shone through and the outcome he achieved for me was nothing short of miraculous!
It is fair to say that without Jon’s expert representation I would have found myself excluded from membership of the ICAEW and I cannot thank him enough for saving my career.”