Wed, 22 May 2013
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Which one of these are you?
It really isn't that complicated. Company secretarial and nominated compliance roles have been around in commerce for a very long time and regulators need to have a name in the frame.
The outcomes emphasis is supposed to avoid the tick box approach that every one else in business has to put up with. Instead we have proper star chamber stuff.
Yes, it does feel very much like strict liability, or if you break the 11th commandment (the getting caught one), the books will be thrown at you. Fair? Nope. Gives consumers confidence? Nope.
As with much in this field - 'they' preach consumer protection and practice industry protectionism.
It all adds to the confusion and regulatory mess that has become the entirely and expressly unintended result of Clementi.
In economics terms it is simple. To compete with lawyers all you have to do is (a) prove you are a decent sort, (b) show us your business plans, (c) prove you are financially sound, and we'll probably let you play when we get around to it - but on the proviso that if we decide to pick on you in the name of the 'consumer' it will effectively be a strict liability offence that you have little or no chance of managing, defraying or avoiding.
Its a piece of artistry in industry competitiveness terms that you really have to admire in its eloquence and subtlety. Will it stop the legal profession clinging on to PI work being relegated to a small part of the claims management industry? I very much doubt it.
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