Is regulation set for lawyer-domination?

That’s the question raised by Michael Snyder’s thinly veiled attack on the
Mayflower tribunal which concluded recently, clearing defendants of most

The senior partner of Kingston Smith, who was bristling after the tribunal
criticised the firm’s celebrated partner Emile Woolf, said that the only
dissenting finding came from an auditor, which, he said, ‘says it all’.

So who actually were the five members of the tribunal panel?

The chairman, Robert Rhodes, is a QC, with experience as a member of the
ICAEW’s Appeal Committee. The bulk of his experience in practice involved
criminal work in fraud, money laundering, regulatory matters and financial

Marion Simmons QC is a practising barrister who has spent time as chairman of
the Competition Appeal Tribunal, as well as vice-chairman of the Appeals
Committee of the ICAEW, with experience as a recorder of the Crown Court,
sitting in criminal and civil cases.

The third tribunal member, Bruce Warman, has a BSc in Biochemistry, and an
MBA from the London Business School, and then had a long career in the motor
industry – during which time he qualified as an accountant.

Warman now spends his time as a senior executive coach, a member of the
Employment Appeal Tribunal, the School Teachers’ Review Body and vice-chairman
of the Security Industry Authority, where he is also audit committee chairman.

Christopher Wittington qualified as a chartered accountant with Cooper
Brothers, and went on to join Unilever and then Morgan Grenfell. He spent some
time as head of the International Division and became bank chairman and deputy
chairman of the group and later a non-executive director of several UK-listed

He was chairman of the audit committee of Deutsche Morgan in 2004 and is now
chairman of the Deutsche Bank UK Pension Fund and deputy chair of a group of
hedge funds.

The fifth, dissenting, panel member was Arthur Harverd, CA and chairman of
the London Court of International Arbitration, a past chairman of the Chartered
Institute of Arbitrators and a member of the Board of the International Dispute
Resolution Centre. He has also twice acted as a DTI inspector.

One member of the legal profession stated this week that the tribunal was far
too big, and should have been a three-member panel.

‘To have two lawyers on the panel is like having two cooks in the kitchen,’
he said.

At root, the issue of who makes up the panel could turn into a larger problem
for the AIDB. The body’s predecessor had a formidable record, and if Mayflower
sets a precedent, there will be many who say that the profession has neutered
its regulatory body.

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