Agency over technocracy: how lawyer archetypes infect regulatory approaches: the FCA example

I am delighted to say a piece I did with Trevor Clark, Steven Vaughan, and Alan Brener has been published Open Access in Legal Ethics. Here is the abstract. it’s about why the FCA was wrong to chicken out of bringing legal properly into the Senior Manager’s Regime. That sentence was too short for an abstract ;-).

In this article, we look at the contested role of in-house lawyers in regulated organisations in the financial sector. A recent Financial Conduct Authority consultation on whether to designate the head of legal of banks, insurance companies and other financial firms as ‘Senior Managers’ and the decision which flowed from it, reflected a flawed view of lawyers as a neutral technocracy of mere legal technicians; we show how the FCA’s decision is potentially damaging to the public interest and failed to take into account that in-house lawyers are often important decision-makers and influencers within their organisations. We put the case for an alternative view; that in-house lawyers are professionals, with agency that requires them to act in accordance with ethical norms and means they should be made more accountable for their conduct.

2 thoughts on “Agency over technocracy: how lawyer archetypes infect regulatory approaches: the FCA example

  1. I agree with your conclusion. But lawyers need to agree this is so too. And not lobby parliament and the regulator to be excluded from SMCR …



  2. Thanks. Some lawyers do, as do (some?) senior compliance people, although they are either quieter or in the minority. The lobbying you speak of was crucial we suspect!

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