Regulatory Hearings - The Investigation
How the investigation takes place depends on the Regulator. They will be in contact with you to explain the process; however here are a few key pieces of advice:
- Cooperate - The Regulator is obliged to investigate a complaint even if, to you, it appears unjustified. They are there to get the facts so it is important that you cooperate. Failure to cooperate in a disciplinary investigation can itself be grounds for disciplinary proceedings. Regulators will usually produce a timetable for the process. It is recommended you adhere to this timetable and if you cannot you should immediately write to them with reasons and supporting evidence for being unable to do so.
- Information you provide to the Regulator – Information may be needed for your case that would otherwise be classed as confidential client information. Generally speaking you are entitled to pass this information to the Regulator (and no one else) if this information is necessary to resist a charge of misconduct. Even in this situation it is advised that you seek the clients’ permission to disclose the information. You can also ask the Regulator to not pass on certain information to other parties.
- Interview – In more formal types of investigation you may need to attend an interview with the regulator which is likely to be recorded. It should not be conducted like an ambush so if you feel it is useful you can ask to be informed of what will be discussed ahead of the interview taking place. If you have instructed a lawyer then they are also allowed to be there.
- Seek legal advice - If you are concerned either that the allegations may result in criminal proceedings or are unsure about any other matter you should contact Thompsons for advice. We can offer you a telephone consultation with one of our employment solicitors for free.