Not ready for finance advice

It seems a significant number of firms are taking to providing financial services advice and setting up departments manned by investment advisers. I read regularly of new firms moving into this area.

While no-one can blame firms for looking at new business opportunities (indeed, they must be commended for their initiative), it is nonetheless a slight worry that a profession which is hardly known for its financial skills can put itself in a position where it is dispensing advice on the intric- acies of investment.

If investments go wrong, does this mean the profession must pick up the bill? I simply do not see how a law firm can have the same up-to-date information as a good firm of stockbrokers. And how can lawyers adequately supervise such an operation? Investment is a completely different ball-game to the practice of law.

Surely lawyers need to be qualified in the area to be able to supervise what goes on in such departments.

I am sure the Law Society is keeping a close eye on the whole area. However, I am not sure it should be encouraging firms to take up investment business. The less firms involved in it, the better.

R Stewart

London EC4.