ABS’s warned not to put business interests ahead of professional ethics

Published: 04/12/2012

Lord Justice Gross has raised concerns surrounding external investment in law firms and the risk it may have on professional ethics.

Speaking to the London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association, Lord Justice Gross said:

“I flag this point because we face the prospect of a variety of legal structures to come, including the prospect of outside investment. It is no part of the judiciary’s function to oppose innovation simply because it is new; but it is not appropriate to sound a warning against any erosion of the advocate’s duty to the court.

“I am anxious to ensure that a conflict between shareholder value or business interest on the one hand and professional ethics should always be resolved in favour of the latter – and the point is worth making because the pressures to the contrary can arise in subtle form through small, imperceptible steps.

“There is of course the further matter to which I can only allude – namely, that the more innovative we are with the delivery of professional services, the greater the likely burden of regulation, a matter replete with it its own difficulties.”

Content correct at time of publication

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