UCL Faculty of Laws


Professor Steven Vaughan gives the 2024 Master’s Lecture on behalf of the Master Solicitor

10 June 2024

Professor Vaughan delivered the annual Master’s Lecture at the City of London Solicitors’ Company, on the topic of professional integrity.

Steven Vaughan

On Monday 3 June, Professor Steven Vaughan (Professor of Law and Professional Ethics at UCL Laws) gave the 2024 ‘Master’s Lecture’ on behalf of Sarah de Gay, Master Solicitor of the City of London Solicitors’ Company. 
Professor Vaughan spoke to the title ‘Moral Remainders: What is the Price of Professional Integrity?’ to a full-house room of lawyers of all kinds (barristers and judges as well as solicitors), other professionals, and Masters of the City of London livery companies. 
In the talk, Professor Vaughan considered the legal requirement on solicitors (and other professionals) to ‘act with integrity’: reflecting on professional codes of conduct and the associated case law; and exploring different types of integrity cases with those in the room. These spanned: cases with potentially complex facts and legal issues (lawyers drafting Non-Disclosure Agreements; lawyers engaging in strategic litigation against public participation); cases when law firms do things that do not sit well with their publicly-stated values; and cases where lawyers see the personal and the professional in tension (such as acts of conscience, and deciding when/how to act for certain clients given the lawyers’ personal beliefs).
Sarah de Gay, the Master Solicitor, commented:
“I promised, when I took office, to “Amplify!” and for me this lecture was an example of amplification in action – a brilliant lecture, suitably challenging and controversial of course, to a packed room! It started a really interesting conversation between individual lawyers from different law firms and other professionals which I hope continues.”
You can find a copy of the lecture here:

The event was kindly held at the offices of Slaughter and May, who also provided a reception following the lecture, where the conversation on integrity continued among the attendees. 

Steven Vaughan and Sarah de Gay

Image: Professor Steven Vaughan with Sarah de Gay