CEL News

Alderney to embark on company law reform drawing on UCL legal analysis

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UCL Faculty of Laws academics Dr Iris H-Y Chiu, Dr Martin Petrin and Ms Anna Donovan were invited to make a presentation to the States of Alderney on their report ‘Gap Analysis of UK and Alderney Company Law’ on 27 January 2016.

The Gap Analysis was commissioned by the States of Alderney in May 2015 and completed in November of the same year. The report was well received and the States will embark on a public consultation to reform its company law regime drawing from the comprehensive study of UK and Alderney company law contained in the Analysis.

The press announcement from the States of Alderney on the start of the public consultation can be found here.

"Do Institutional Clients Threaten Lawyer Independence" event in the news

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The Centre for Ethics and Law event on 13 January 2016 on the question of whether “Institutional Clients Threaten Lawyer Independence”, a seminar discussion with Dr Steven Vaughan, CEPLER, Birmingham University; Enid Rowlands, Chair of the SRA, and Alasdair Douglas, Chair of the City of London Law Society, was received very positively.  A range of City, in-house, government and new law legal practitioners contributed to the debate from the floor and the event has since been discussed in Legal Futures and the Attic.

Corporate Lawyers’ Approach to Professional Ethics Could be a “Serious Problem” – Professor Richard Moorhead in Legal Futures

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Legal Futures looks at Corporate Lawyers: Values, Institutional Logics and Ethics, a research paper by Professor Richard Moorhead examining the approach taken by corporate lawyers to ethics.

Read: Moorhead: Corporate Lawyers’ Approach to Professional Ethics Could be a “Serious Problem” in Legal Futures

Regulating (from) the Inside: The Legal Framework for Internal Control in Banks and Financial Institutions

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Regulating from the Inside book jacket

Dr Iris H-Y Chiu has just published a monograph, entitled Regulating (from) The Inside: The Legal Framework for Internal Control in Banks and Financial Institutions, 360pp,  Hart Publishing, Bloomsbury, Oct 2015.

The book examines a key aspect of the post-financial crisis reform package in the EU and UK – the ratcheting up of internal control in banks and financial institutions. The legal framework for internal controls is an important part of prudential regulation, and internal control also constitutes a form of internal gate-keeping for financial firms so that compliance with laws and regulations can be secured. This book argues that the legal framework for internal control, which is a form of meta-regulation, is susceptible to weaknesses, and such weaknesses are critically examined by adopting an interdisciplinary approach. The book discusses whether post-crisis reforms adequately address the weaknesses in regulating internal control and proposes an alternative strategy to enhance the ‘governance’ effectiveness of internal control. Such alternative strategy is rooted in the enhancement of professionalism and professional ethics in internal control professions. The book shows how financial regulation can be enhanced by reaching into the interface of law, professional ethics and organisational culture. Visit the publisher's website to find out more about the book.

The Case for Change: Legislative Options beyond the Legal Services Act 2007

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The Legal Services Act 2007 paved the way for significant regulatory reform, including a new system for resolving complaints and liberalisation to allow ownership and investment in law firms by individuals other than qualified lawyers.

Since late 2014, the legal regulators have been working together to share their experiences and to consider both minor and major changes to the Act in order to facilitate further liberalisation of legal services and to reduce the costs and burden of regulation on practitioners.

Professor Stephen Mayson, an honorary professor in the Centre for Ethics and Law in the Faculty of Laws at UCL, has been chairing the meetings of the chairs and chief executives of the regulatory bodies that have overseen this period of collaboration.  As part of this process, he has also chaired an investigation by the regulators of the legislative options that could be considered in any significant reform of the Legal Services Act.  The policy and options paper was submitted to Ministers in the Ministry of Justice earlier this month, and was published by the Legal Services Board on 27 July 2015.

This important groundwork should prove timely and valuable in light of the Lord Chancellor's statement to the Justice Select Committee on 15 July that the Act would be reviewed during the life of the current Parliament.

'The Conversation We Never Had' - SRA to Overhaul Handbook for In-House Counsel as UCL Unveils Ethics Research

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Legal Risk: Definitition, Management and Ethics by Professor Richard Moorhead (UCL Centre for Ethics and Law) and Dr Stephen Vaughan (University of Birmingham)

Professor Richard Moorhead in Legal Business, City AM and Lawyers Weekly

Professor Richard Moorhead is interviewed in Legal Business about the UCL Centre for Ethics and Law’s new report, Legal Risk: Definition, Management and Ethics, marking the launch of an ethical leadership initiative for in-house lawyers.

CELs launches Ethical Leadership Initiative for In-house Lawyers

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Legal Risk: Definitition, Management and Ethics by Professor Richard Moorhead (UCL Centre for Ethics and Law) and Dr Stephen Vaughan (University of Birmingham)

The UCL Centre for Ethics and Law today published its report Legal Risk: Definition, Management and Ethics as the first stage in its Ethical Leadership Initiative for In-house lawyers.

The Law on Corporate Governance in Banks

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The Law on Corporate Governance in Banks book jacket

A book on The Law of Corporate Governance in Banks has just been published as part of the Elgar Law and Finance Series. It is edited by Dr Iris Chiu and leading practitioner Michael McKee at DLA Piper. The book features contributions from a number of present and previous Centre members. 

CEL Director appointed to Harvard Fellowship at Edmond J. Safra Center

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CEL Audience

Richard Moorhead has been awarded an Edmond J. Safra Lab Fellow at Harvard University to work on the project 'Do Values and Professionalism Change During Law School?' which looks at the professionalism, values and ethical decision making of law students in the US and UK, with Maryam Kouchaki (North Western), Stephen Galoob (Tulsa) and Rachil Cahill-O’Callaghan (Cardiff).  The UK limb of the project is part-funded by the Legal Education Foundation.

Moorhead tells leading practitioners, City lawyers are part of the precarious professionalism problem

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Richard Moorhead

Richard Moorhead gave an invited lecture to Law Society Council members and invited City leaders from the legal profession this week. He told them research evidence and a series of recent scandals pointed to the professions need to sharpen up its act on ethics and that even the leading firms had been tainted by difficulty. He also discussed how the cutting edge developments in legal services were increasingly being led from outside of law as a profession and a discipline and that this posed a major threat to lawyers and legal educators which required significant investment.

CEL Director Comments on Recruitment and Diversity at the Bar

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Lady Justice, The Old Bailey

In an article by Frances Gibb for The Times, Richard Moorhead comments on the results of a recent Bar Council/Bar Standards Board survey which show that Oxbridge degrees and secondary schooling are important factors in recruitment and promotion to the rank of Queen’s Counsel at the Bar.  In particular, the research shows that once the impact of a candidates length of call, degree grade and law school has been taken account of where a candidate went to school until the age of 18 made a significant difference to whether they achieved silk.  He commented:"With serious problems at both ends of the profession, not all of which can be blamed on legal aid cuts, the recruitment and promotion practices at the Bar remain a serious impediment to a diverse judiciary"

CEL Director on Baroness Butler Sloss' Resignation from Child Abuse Inquiry

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Richard Moorhead

Writing on 9 July on his blog Lawyer Watch, CEL Director Richard Moorhead predicted Baroness Butler Sloss' resignation from her position leading the Home Office inquiry into historic child abuse, saying that as soon as it became clear she may have to investiagte matters alleged to have involved her brother-in-law - former Attorney General, Sir Michael Havers - that she would be left with little option.

Is sustainability improving corporate and professional ethics?

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Richard Moorhead

In an article for Legal Business, CEL Director, Richard Moorhead discusses whether sustainability is affecting corporate and professional ethics in a positive way, how sustainability may be interpreted and how it might change the legal role.

CEL Director comments on Canadian reform of professional regulation

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CEL Director comments on Canadian reform of professional regulation

Richard Moorhead comments on the potential ABS reform in Canada which would allow outside investment in law firms.

Video Available of Lawrence Lessig Delivering CEL Annual Lecture 2014

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Professor Lawrence Lessig

A video is now available of Professor Lawrence 'Larry' Lessig delivering the Centre for Ethics & Law Annual Lecture on 14 March 2014 in which Professor Lessig introduces the idea of “institutional corruption,” and uses it to understand pathologies in important public institutions, especially the United States Congress

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